Tags: prayer | banner | atheist | ACLU
Image: Rhode Island School Removes Prayer Mural After Atheist/ACLU Gripe
The prayer mural, now removed, was a gift from the class of 1963. (AP Photo)

Rhode Island School Removes Prayer Mural After Atheist/ACLU Gripe

Tuesday, 06 Mar 2012 01:05 PM

A prayer mural that had been displayed on a high school auditorium wall in Cranston, R.I., for decades has been removed in compliance with a federal judge’s ruling after an atheistic student complained.

The 8-foot-high banner, a 1963 class gift, had been attached to a wall in the Cranston High School West auditorium, Superintendent Peter Nero said. It was removed Saturday, and the auditorium remained closed Monday to allow workers to repair the wall, the Providence Journal reported.

The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the constitutionality of the display last year on behalf of 16-year-old student and atheist Jessica Ahlquist, who said the prayer made her feel "ostracized."

The banner, under the title “School Prayer,” had read:

“Our 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 with 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 always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West. Amen.”

The banner now is stored in an undisclosed location, the newspaper reported.



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