For those who haven’t been following the story of Jessica Ahlquist, I’ll do a quick recap. She is a 16-year old student at Cranston West High School in Rhode Island, where a Christian “School Prayer” banner had adorned the walls for many years.
Jessica (an atheist) recognized that the banner was unconstitutional and asked the school to take it down. They refused, and held a vote to reaffirm the banner’s place. Jessica then asked that the prayer be rewritten to maintain the spirit of school pride but without references to a Christian god. The school refused, demonstrating that it was the Christian god part they cared most about. Jessica involved the ACLU and eventually won a lawsuit in which the judge recognized the constitutional infraction and ordered the banner be removed.
Since her original complaint, Jessica has been relentlessly bullied to the point where she is now leaving for a different high school. Mary and Robert Posey are compiling an ever-growing list of the Twitter and Facebook abuse (excerpts below).
Hemant Mehta and the American Humanist Association are raising funds for a scholarship for Jessica so she can attend a college where she can escape the prejudice of her hometown high school. Please consider donating. Let’s show the bullies that their abuse is only making Jessica stronger.