Rhode Island Teen’s Battle Against Prayer Banner Has Gone ‘Too Far,’ Mayor Says
A controversy initiated by a teenage girl over a prayer banner in a Rhode Island public school has gone “too far” according to the town’s mayor.
The teen, who is 16 and says she’s an atheist, has received threats and the city is paying hefty amounts of money in legal fees.
A Rhode Island judge ruled last week that a prayer mural at Cranston High School West needs to be removed “immediately,” but members of the community are fighting back by pursuing an appeal that would cost the city more money in a legal battle that has already racked up tens of thousands of dollars in fees.
“I think it’s gone too far,” Cranston Mayor Allan Fung told ABCNews.com. “Our country was built upon civil discourse, not hate for one person exercising their constitutional rights.”
Fung said, however, that if it were up to him, “I would say, respect the judge’s decision and not take the appeal because, unfortunately, we could not afford these costs in these tight budgetary times.”
The teenager at the center of the controversy is junior Jessica Ahlquist, who has thousands of supporters on a number of Facebook pages, Twitter and her own website.