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Park Rapids School Board declines Ten Commandments monument donation

A rendering of the Ten Commandments monument Dennis Dodge proposes to donate to the Park Rapids School Board, as presented on May 20, 2024. The Second Commandment was omitted and an apostrophe is missing, which were oversights, according to Dodge.
Contributed
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Dakota Monument Company via Dennis Dodge
A rendering of the Ten Commandments monument Dennis Dodge proposed to donate to the Park Rapids School Board, as presented on May 20, 2024. The Second Commandment was omitted and an apostrophe was missing, which were oversights, according to Dodge.

Ex-school board member Dennis Dodge proposed the monument at the Board's May 20 meeting.

PARK RAPIDS — The Park Rapids School Board voted unanimously to decline a donation that would display the Ten Commandments outside the newly landscaped Park Rapids High School next year.

The Park Rapids Enterprise reported that the Board based its Monday, June 3, decision on the mostly negative feedback on the proposed monument offered by former school board member Dennis Dodge.

Dodge’s monument proposal prompted a response from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which warned the district that it would be open to litigation should it accept the monument.

Park Rapids High School is currently under renovation as part of a voter-approved referendum that passed in 2021, with landscaping expected to be completed by September 2025.

Itasca Countyrecently painted over a Ten Commandments display at its new jail, and a decades-old Ten Commandments display at the Hibbing Courthouse was removed in 2018.