CRANSTON, R.I., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A prayer on a banner in a Rhode Island high school gym is a clear violation of the First Amendment and local policies, a rights group says.
The American Civil Liberties Union has asked the Cranston school board to remove the prayer, WPRI-TV, Providence, reported. The banner has been in the gym at Cranston High School West for decades, apparently without any opposition until the ACLU received a complaint last year.
A board subcommittee voted Tuesday night in favor of the banner in spite of a written district policy that "the proper setting for religious observance is the home and places of worship." The decision is now in the hands of the school board -- and possibly after that the courts.
The prayer reads:
Our Heavenly Father,
Grant us each day the desire to do our best,
To grow mentally and morally as well as physically,
To be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers,
To be honest with ourselves as well as with others,
Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win,
Teach us the value of true friendship,
Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.
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