Atheist Teen Jessica Ahlquist Makes School Remove Prayer Banner
Rhode Island teen Jessica Ahlquist sued her high school, Cranston High School West for a prayer banner in the school auditorium, claiming it was 'unconstitutional".
A federal judge ruled in favor of Ahlquist and her supporters, saying that the prayer banner was violating the principal that public education institutions must remain neutral in religion.
The prayer banner had been hanging in the school auditorium for 49 years. The prayer read:
Dear Heavenly Father,Grant us each day the desire to do our best, to grow mentally and morally as well as physically, to be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers, to be honest with ourselves as well as others, help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win, teach us the value of true friendship, help us to always conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.
Ahlquist, 16, has since dealt with non-supporters and even death threats. The Rhode Island city of Cranston is heavily Roman Catholic, and residents have crowded the school to demand an appeal to the case.
It seems to be that Ahlquist has started a war on religion through social media. Facebook and Twitter users all over the nation have had things to say to her, including that she is an idiot that should burn in hell.
Even Cranston-born State Representative Peter G. Palumbo called her an "evil little thing" on a talk show.
The prayer, that stood 8 feet tall, was hung in 1963 after a 7th grader wrote it for the graduating class of that year as a gift. For now, it remains hanging, although it is covered by a tarp.
The school board has said it will wait a month before making a decision to appeal.