ACLU Sues Rhode Island City Over Christian Prayer Banner Displayed In High School

04/04/2011 09:51 pm ET | Updated Jun 04, 2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the city of Cranston over a Christian prayer banner displayed in a high school auditorium.

The ACLU announced the lawsuit Monday. It seeks monetary damages and demands that the banner be removed from Cranston High School West on the grounds that it promotes a particular religion.

The plaintiff is sophomore Jessica Ahlquist. The 15-year-old atheist says the banner is offensive to students of other faiths.

The banner encourages students to strive academically and show kindness. It begins with "Our Heavenly Father" and ends with "Amen." It has been displayed since the 1960s.

Last year, the ACLU asked the school to remove the banner after a parent complained. The Cranston School Committee voted last month to keep the banner.