Cranston votes not to appeal prayer banner case
CRANSTON, R.I. (WHDH)-- A prayer banner that has been hanging in a Cranston Rhode Island public school since 1963 will be taken down.
It's been a long battle in the court system after a student, who is an atheist, sued to have it removed. A federal judge agreed and the school committee is giving up the fight.
The final school board meeting about the prayer banner started with a spirited crowd, some fighting to keep the prayer banner.
“If we ever forget that we’re one nation, under God, then we are one nation gone under,” one man said.
“If you simply don’t like the so-called prayer, don’t look at it,” another said.
But others said to fight the federal judge's order to take it down would just be too much in legal fees; it’s estimated it could cost the district half a million dollars, when the school is already on the hook for more than $170,000 in legal fees after losing the first round in court.
"Any additional dollar that this school system spends on this case rather than on a decent education for my two children is an outrage," one woman said.
Some just think god shouldn't be in our public schools.
"This prayer to a Christian god belongs in a Christian school," one woman said.
The school board voted 5-2 not to fight the federal judge's order. The banner will come down.
Jessica Ahlquist, who sued to have the banner removed, reacted after winning her very long, hard fought battle.
"I’m thrilled,” she said. “This is obviously the outcome that I wanted and I’m glad that the school committee made this decision."
Following the vote the Cranston school committee said they did not want to risk spending hundreds of thousands on a legal fight and thought it should be used to further education.
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