Atheist student who sued school: You can’t imagine the things I’ve heard

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 17:38 EDT
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An atheist student who sued over a public prayer display at her public school described her experiences at the Reason Rally in March.

“I have a confession to make, I am ‘evil little thing,’” Jessica Ahlquist said in a video of her speech uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of the 16-year-old student against Cranston High School West in 2010. Ahlquist had argued the banner promoting Christian theology made her feel “ostracized and out of place.”

“I witness first hand people all over the world come together to support me and what I was doing,” Ahlquist said, “and that is something that I cannot begin to express in words how good if feels.”

The U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island ruled in January that the banner violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

“Since then, there has been everything,” she said. “You can’t imagine the things that I have heard. In school, I’ll walk down a hallway and people will say, ‘eww, it’s the atheist.’ There have been people on the Internet — obviously — and there was a state representative, Peter Palumbo, who did call me an ‘evil little thing.’”

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube on May 9, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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