(TENNESSEAN) — Summit High School sophomore Jeff Shott has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship for dressing like Jesus Christ on fictional character day.
The Spring Hill student was not disciplined for his action back in January, but Summit High Principal Charles Farmer did advise him that if the costume caused distraction during the day that he would have to remove it, school officials say.
Shott voluntarily removed his robes and sash, a costume that included a hammer and nail.
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“Both principals said they were worried my costume would spark religious debates in every class and take up large amounts of time. I was sternly warned that if even one teacher reported the slightest disruption, I would have to take off my costume. Then and there, I decided to take it off,” Shott wrote in a letter to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national organization devoted to promoting the separation of state and church. The group ended up awarding him a scholarship.