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Is That a Christian Cross or a Plus Sign? Ohio School in 'Crossfire'

3 years ago
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The architect saw the building decoration as a plus sign. A local resident saw a cross. But you can't be too careful these days, so school officials in Toledo, Ohio, have asked the designer of a new elementary school to remove a series of cross-like symbols on the exterior of the gymnasium.

"The architect will submit a fix to the design; they have indicated it will be an easy fix," James Gant, chief business manager for Toledo Public Schools, told the Toledo Free Press this week.

Call it addition by subtraction.

"As soon as we found out there were issues we got a copy of the plan design and talked to the architect about it; it was not the intent of the plan at all," Gant said. The design was to represent a plus sign.

Questions emerged about the design when a neighborhood resident, David Eichenberg, whose children will be attending the new Beverly Elementary School, posted a photo of the architectural feature at the Free Press' Facebook page on Jan. 23. (Eichenberg's photo includes some cross-shaped electrical towers in the background, but those apparently didn't register in the same way.)

Gant said he had not received any other complaints from parents or the community, but still thought it best to change the design.

"I appreciate the concern that was brought up and it does look that way and we need to be careful about that process of what we're doing," Gant told the Free Press. "It's a legitimate concern, and it was not the intended design."

Still, it's not clear whether the changes will end the debate.

The Free Press Facebook posts on the story are abuzz with debate over the cross/plus sign symbol, and Eichenberg has weighed in with some provocative comments that are only likely to keep the arguments going.

"How about a swastika. Can we stick that up on your church?" he wrote to one critic. "There is seperation [sic] of church and state in this country since the school in question is a public building the symbols in question can not appear on it. On a private school, fine, whatever floats your boat. Not a public school. It is against my civil liberties, that is what is wrong with it. Contrary to popular belief this is NOT a Christian country. Nor was it ever intended to be."

And they're off....

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13 Comments

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marie229

People are way too busy these days. Crosses? Plus signs? All I saw were lines.

February 23 2011 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
icariushigh

They do look like crosses but I wonder how many people would have noticed if someone did not point it out. I suppose now that all road intersections will have to be turned into roundabouts for the same reason.

February 21 2011 at 7:38 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
redofdc

No big deal!! These "crosses" help mininize the vibration of the window glass. Had "star of david" been designated to mininize this vibration, Why bother? If your children don't like those windows, go to a windowless school and live without electricity. Politically correct whiners need not apply.

February 21 2011 at 10:58 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jamie Warren

Ok lets get rid of all the math books to that have all those + sign because they look like crosses.

February 20 2011 at 4:40 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
julietahoma

I think its a bit ridiculous that someone could complain about a symbol on a school. Even if it wasn't a christian or private school, if it isn't a problem then why bother? Is a plus sign that looks like a cross really going to hurt the students? i don't think so. It's a dumb debate but people can have their way and cost more money to fix a dumb sign on a school that never intended for it to look like a cross. They should just get over it because the intent on the design was not Christianity. So why does it matter?

February 17 2011 at 11:59 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
tausands

A plus sign has four posts of equal length, These are not plus signs. As for those saying Christianity is being attacked: No it is not. You want crosses on your house or car or church...fine. On a public school.. they don't belong there.

February 17 2011 at 7:24 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
gtmunyan

These people just don't get it. The more they micro attack Christianity, the more they are self isolated, disliked and the stronger Christianity becomes. Are we now going to have the PC police inspecting architectural design from the air?

February 17 2011 at 6:45 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
wkb2texans

good grief ...

February 17 2011 at 5:16 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
bbellerophon2010

I know an Architect of a new building that was chastised for a supposed "star of David" pattern in the men's room urinal holes. Most of the people reviewing this complaint did not even see the resemblance; it was irregular and a real stretch of the imagination to perceive this. Nevertheless, the contractor had to change out all the urinals in the building at extra cost because of the perceived slight and the objection of a single person. Silly and petty rules the day.

February 17 2011 at 4:51 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
cablaz5

those are CROSSES... i went to catholic elem.. crosses look just like that... plus signs have equal sides.. crosses are shorter on the top than the bottom of the intersection! it looks like a catholic school!

February 17 2011 at 3:47 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cablaz5's comment
vicbar88

So what

February 20 2011 at 3:22 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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