Many people are upset about the recent news that a 4-foot by 8-foot “School Prayer Banner” hanging in a Rhode Island public high school since 1963 must come down. On January 12, U.S. District Judge Ronald Lagueux ruled that the banner hanging in Cranston High School West is unconstitutional. The judge wrote, "No amount of debate can make the School Prayer anything other than a prayer."
Local resident are up in arms over the ruling and are urging the school district to appeal the ruling. In the meantime, Jessica Ahlquist, the 16-year-old atheist who initiated the action to have the banner removed, is reportedly receiving all kinds of threats and vitriol. She told one reporter, "A lot of people are saying that they hope I get beat up. . . .That they would hurt me physically in school if they could. It is hurtful. It kind of disturbed me. It's mostly hurtful when it comes from students in the school."