Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Suit Challenges Prayer Mural In High School

The ACLU of Rhode Island yesterday announced that it has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a high school student challenging an 8-foot high prayer mural that has been displayed on the wall in the auditorium of Cranston (RI) High School West and of a Cranston middle school for nearly 50 years. The complaint (full text) in Ahlquist v. City of Cranston, (D RI, filed 4/4/2011) says that the prayer was adopted as the official school prayer of Cranston West around 1960.  It begins by asking "Our Heavenly Father" to grant students the desire to do their best, to help them grow, be kind, be good sports, and the like.  The suit alleges that display of the prayer violates plaintiff's 1st and 14th Amendment rights.

UPDATE: Here is plaintiff's Trial Memorandum of Law, filed 9/9/2011.