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7 seek stay of order to remove prayer banner in RI

March 7, 2012
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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Seven people are asking a federal court in Rhode Island to stay a decision ordering the removal of a prayer banner at a public high school and let them present their case to a judge.

The requests filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Providence were made by three students at Cranston High School West, three graduates of the school and a North Providence resident. The banner contains the words "heavenly father" and "amen." They say those words do not violate the constitution.

A federal judge in January ruled the prayer banner in the auditorium was unconstitutional and ordered it removed. The school committee didn't appeal. The legal challenge was brought last year on behalf of student Jessica Ahlquist, who is an atheist.

The banner has already been removed from the school.

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