Federal Judge: Prayer Banner Encouraging Kindness Must Be Removed
January 15, 2012
A federal judge ruled that a Rhode Island high school must take down a decades-old prayer banner that encouraged students to be kind and helpful because it offended non-Christians and was a violation of the U.S. Constitution, FOX News reports. Atheist student Jessica Ahlquist sued the city of Cranston and the high school after they initially refused to remove the banner, and U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lagueux ruled that it must be removed immediately because it promoted religion. The prayer, which was authored by a seventh-grade student years ago, begins with the words "Our Heavenly Father," ends with "Amen," and encourages students to be kind, honest, helpful, motivated and true friends. City officials defended the banner, calling it a historical artifact, and it is unclear when or if the school will remove it.