An atheist group has raised more than $40,000 as a "scholarship" fund for Jessica Ahlquist -- a 16-year-old student from Rhode Island who sued her public school and got a 50-year-old Christian prayer banner removed from its walls -- the Christian Post website reports today (February 20, 2012).
Atheist Hemant Mehta is running an online scholarship fundraising campaign for Ahlquist -- who attends Cranston High School West -- on his blog.
Mehta -- who is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in a Chicago suburb -- says he will end the fundraiser for Ahlquist on March 1.
A federal court ruled last month that the Christian mural had to be removed. The Cranston school board voted last week not to appeal the court ruling, due to its inability to meet the legal costs of an appeal.