All – U.S. District Judge Ronald Lagueux ruled in Rhode Island that a Cranston High School West Prayer banner in the school’s gym must be removed from the premises. The banner has been displayed there since 1963, when it was written by a 7th grade student at the school.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled government-sponsored prayer in public schools unconstitutional in 1962.
The case was brought by the ACLU on behalf of a 16 year-old student of the school, Jessica Ahlquist.
When interviewed, Ahlquist gave a sadly familiar account of what happens to atheists in situations like this:
Ahlquist said because of some negative backlash, she’s considering whether to return to Cranston West for her senior year, next semester.
“I’ve had some difficult experiences there. I don’t know how West is for me now,” Ahlquist said.
Ahlquist said she is proud of her decision to fight for what she felt was right.
“Even if kids in school hate you, even if there are nasty comments all over the Internet, it’s important to just stand true to what you believe in,” Ahlquist said.
But the sacrifices of this young lady will serve to liberate those that follow her from the same alienation and abuse. Thank you, Jessica.