District Agrees to Pay ACLU $150,000 [VIDEO]

City and school officials and the School Committee have come to an agreement with the ACLU for the district to pay $150,000 in attorney's fees after losing the prayer banner lawsuit.

Cranston Public Schools and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union have tentatively agreed upon a figure of $150,000 for the school district to pay the ACLU for legal fees after losing the prayer banner case.

The schools’ Chief Operating Officer Raymond Votto said the city, School Committee and school district appeared to agree to the figure today. It remains up to U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lagueux to approve the amount.

The announcement came with the backdrop of a blank, white wall in the auditorium at , where Votto delivered remarks this afternoon about the prayer banner’s removal over the weekend.

Votto said the banner’s removal cost a total of about $2,500, the majority spent on labor, which was done in-house by district workers. Because the work was done internally, it saved considerable money, Votto said.

A work crew came in at 7 a.m. on Saturday and the banner was gone by 2 p.m. On Sunday, new drywall was plastered in to the hole left behind.

The banner itself is in storage at an undisclosed facility. Votto said it will remain in “a holding pattern until the School Committee decides what to do with the banner.”

The 400-pound banner was braced and lowered using a rope system after the plaster was cut through. The banner was transported to the secure, non-climate-controlled facility using a city box truck. The banner itself was six inches thick and and eight feet by four feet in size.

“It was a substantial job,” Votto said.

A video of the press conference will be added to this story soon.

Robin Lionheart March 07, 2012 at 11:42 PM
@Ed Jessica merely defended her schoolmates’ rights. ’Twas never Jess, but always your school board who squandered your tax dollars, if not squandering enough for your liking, Churchshootin’ Ed.
Ed March 08, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Robin, her school mates never had a problem with the banner, only her... and that was only after 3 years... So lets put it in perspective here.... She mentions it and guess who gives her advice and jumps right on that bandwagon? her father... Now if you look at how he was dressed and looked at the meeting it was just like he rolled out of the bar room... What a quality sight... Now he pushes her because he is living his life through her for all his failures... This is the story of all stories and once the ball started rolling, it never stopped and the celebrations began... I'm sure he had many more drinks to that....That's what loser parents do...
Robin Lionheart March 08, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Except the parent who complained about the mural, a schoolmate who told Jessica about it, a dozen or two people in her Facebook group... Other people had had a problem with the banner, but they lacked Jessica’s courage to stand up for religious liberty. I shall not dignify with a response your scurrilous attempt to smear Jessica’s father as a drunkard based on his clothing.
Joe The Plumber March 08, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Hey LionsAss, Are those horns on your head?
MoonBeamWatcher March 08, 2012 at 02:10 AM
You are not too bright Lionheart . . . $150,000 for ACLU's next attack . . . on America! (ACLU so very silent on Executive Branch ordering insurance Co's to do anything! So very, very silent on ordering people to perform abortions that THEY feel is murder! As MA AG Coakley said, let Catholics find work elsewhere!) It has a lot to do with the unravelling of American traditional values and beliefs. The camel said: "Can I just put my nose inside your tent?" He was not upset with the evil leaders as much as He was with those who permitted them to convince ALL that Bad was GOOD, and Good was BAD!
SET FREE March 08, 2012 at 06:21 AM
To Robin Lionhart and all the other non-believers- Why are you so concerned about "religious liberty" when you don't even have a religion? Definition of religion: a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship Who do you worship and revere as the creator of the universe? God says in the bible that no man has an excuse for not believing, because God is revealed in His creation. Don't you see the beauty in nature and in people? Have you ever seen a baby being born? The bible says that Satan has put blinders on the eyes of non-believers. I pray that your blinders would be removed and you would see God revealed in His creation.
Robin Lionheart March 08, 2012 at 07:30 PM
@SET FREE To answer your questions: 1) Because freedom of religion includes freedom not to have any religion. 2) We have no evidence of a “creator”, and our universe is not as I would expect it to be, if it were designed. 3) Yes, I see beauty. Beauty is not supernatural. 4) I have seen births on video. Births are not supernatural. I hope your blinders may be removed, too, SF, and you come to see reality in all its true splendor.
Robin Lionheart March 08, 2012 at 07:38 PM
@MoonBeamWatcher The American Civil Liberties Union’s mission is to defend civil liberties. Citizens have civil liberties, corporations do not. And insurance companies don’t need the ACLU, they have plenty of lawyers of their own.
Joe The Plumber March 08, 2012 at 08:13 PM
3:12 pm on Thursday, March 8, 2012 Yes Lion'Ass upon more careful inspection of your picture, those really are horns comming out of your head! Very nice though...... And very appropriate.
Ann Fuscellaro March 08, 2012 at 09:34 PM
They should pay for their own laywers fees......
Ann Fuscellaro March 08, 2012 at 09:39 PM
The Banner should have stayed where it was and never been removed...... the ACLU puts their nose where it doesn't belong....... they should butt out........
Robin Lionheart March 08, 2012 at 10:16 PM
@Ann Fuscellaro According to Judge Lagueux’s legal analysis, no, it should not have. Cranston West lost because it was in the wrong. It was not appropriate for Cranston West to show favoritism toward Christianity. If you would like to understand why this was the right decision, read his decision for yourself: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=10811058226814137027
Ed March 08, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Robin... You don't have to dignify anything, I let the facts speak for themselves Thank-You....
Robin Lionheart March 08, 2012 at 10:26 PM
@Ann Fuscellaro If our system worked like that, you could be driven to bankruptcy paying off your attorney’s fees, by a wealthy person maliciously filing frivolous lawsuits against you.
Ed March 08, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Robin.... You and your way of thinking is way out there. I take great comfort in knowing that there is professional help out there for you should you come to your senses.... So, it is possible with the proper treatment program you could, possibly, fit in with the human race...
Robin Lionheart March 08, 2012 at 10:36 PM
@Churchshootin’ Ed “Fact” does not mean “a bullshit story made up out of whole cloth”.
Robin Lionheart March 08, 2012 at 10:43 PM
@Churchshootin’ Ed Oh dear, someone who believes a story about a talking snake in a magic tree thinks I need professional help because I think it’s a fairytale.
Joe The Plumber March 09, 2012 at 06:57 AM
@LionsAss Yes...... Those are certainly horns coming from your head. Very interesting choice of Avatar... Or was it chosen for you? Coincidence? I think not.
Prof. Frederick Sweet March 09, 2012 at 07:38 AM
MINORITY RIGHTS ARE AS AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE In President Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address, he said: "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression." The basic American principle that makes us special and for which so many have already sacrificed their lives is the principle that the rights of a minority even of ONE are protected. What does a Minority of One Protection even mean? "The protection provided by this principle applies fundamentally in favor of a minority of one: The Individual. No majority, however great even all of the people but one Individual--may properly infringe, or possess the power to infringe, the rights of any minority, however small--even a minority of a lone Individual." You can bad mouth Jessica all you want, but at the end of the day with the help of the ACLU she stood up for herself facing a community's hostility by demanding her constitutional right concerning religion be upheld. Even though the majority of Cranston citizens wanted an old, illegal prayer banner to stay up on the public high school's wall, Jessica insisted that her school obey the law. Not understanding what the ACLU accomplished in Cranston as a victory for America means not understanding what it means to be an American.
Prof. Frederick Sweet March 09, 2012 at 07:53 AM
Footnote: The great libertarian Thomas Jefferson emphasized the important principle: The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution not only protects the people's right to practice religion but it also protects the people's right against having religion imposed upon them. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..."
Robin Lionheart March 09, 2012 at 08:04 AM
@JTP ‣ “Hey LionsAss, Are those horns on your head?” ‣ “Yes Lion'Ass upon more careful inspection of your picture, those really are horns comming out of your head!” ‣ “@LionsAss Yes...... Those are certainly horns coming from your head.” Three times, huh? Proud of those gibes, are you? Feel clever making them?
MoonBeamWatcher March 09, 2012 at 04:21 PM
"Prof" your THE idiot! Thanks for making my case! CONGRESS! Like the graduating class was CONGRESS! We who work for a living are sooo, feed up with YOU who VOTE for a living!
Murph10 March 10, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Robin Lionheart March 10, 2012 at 05:45 PM
@MoonBeamWatcher “We who work for a living are sooo, feed up with YOU who VOTE for a living!” Nice work if you can get it. Seems like a seasonal job though.
Joe The Plumber March 11, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Yes I do ......... You guys........ You're so easy..........
Joe The Plumber March 11, 2012 at 01:25 AM
You're a goat...... Yes that's it........ You're a goat!!! Right??
Mark Wyman March 11, 2012 at 03:08 AM
I like many of you alls got real scared by the secular stuff that was been teached to are children in them public schools and the unChristain stuff that was being rammed down there little throwts. Well the Lord called me to take maters into my own hand and to do something about all them lies our children are teached. Did you know that a teacher is allowed to talk about ungodly people like Einstein and Darwin but our not allowed to spend the hole day reading Bible stories to are youngsters? That is why we need to protect are youngins from dangerous secular humanist garbage been teached in public schools -- like physics and biology. Are childrens good education is bout the most important thing we can give them all.
Mark Wyman March 11, 2012 at 03:10 AM
So why whould anyone trust it to nonChristains and other Satanic types? I think I speak with some authority when I say that public schools our no place to teach children. I know that I got so disgusted with what was being teached as “fact” by nonChristains that Jesus Christ Himself called me out of school at the age 15. He in His mercy spared me from occultist subjects like foreign tongues (French) and occult animal sacrifices (frog dissection). Now I am hearing Jesus’s call again to become a teacher so that I can make sure are children are not polluted by been told that they come from some apes. Yes it is shocking but it is true as can be! One thing I can promise you – their WILL be prayer in OUR school! ALL the time!! And NO black trenchcoats, harlotty make-up or things pierced! And our children will learn to WRITE RIGHT! Hallelujah!"
Glad April 17, 2012 at 12:12 AM
@ The Shill You really should consider becoming more educated so you can communicate properly. You don't have the skills now to teach any child. Please go back to school and ask God to help you succeed.
Mark Wyman April 17, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Glad you need to become more educated and learn what satire is.


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