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Published: Tuesday, 9/12/2006

Rossford school board cuts spending on appeal

A majority of the Rossford school board does not want to spend any more taxpayer money to defend the district against litigation filed by a Christian rock band but has named a local attorney to handle the case.

The band Pawn, which was barred from playing during an anti-drug assembly at Rossford High School in 2004, is appealing a federal court ruling that dismissed its lawsuit against the school district.

But the school board voted 3-2 in a meeting yesterday against actively defending the appeal. Board members Brian Hughes, Diane McKinney, and David Kleeberger voted not to spend more on the lawsuit. At the same time, they voted 4-1 to ask Toledo attorney Fritz Byers to be lead counsel for the defendants in the appeal process. Mr. Kleeberger cast the lone no vote.

Four members of Pawn filed a suit in February, 2005, against the school district and Superintendent Luci Gernot after Ms. Gernot canceled the band s December, 2004, performance because of concerns about a potential lawsuit for promoting religion in a public school.

The fifth band member, Kyle Kleeberger, is not a party to the suit because his father, Mr. Kleeberger, was a school board member when it was filed.



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