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Vote pending on Cranston ‘prayer banner’

March 7, 2011

The Cranston School Committee is poised for a vote tonight on whether to remove a so-called prayer banner from the wall at Cranston West High School. A subcommittee is recommending that the district retain an attorney and take the issue to court if necessary.

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says it will sue the district if the banner is not re-worded or removed. It contains the words “Our Heavenly Father” and “Amen.”

The prayer has been a fixture in the high school gym since the late 1950’s. Supporters say it is part of the school’s tradition, though the prayer itself is no longer recited by students.

Opponents argue that it violates the separation of church and state to have a religious message in a public school building.

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