Ahlquist May Transfer Schools

It’s now revealed that Jessica Ahlquist may transfer schools.  This shouldn’t be a news flash to anybody.  She has to have police officers follow her around while at school.  That alone is a huge distraction.  When you factor in the level to which she must fear for her safety I don’t see how anybody could expect her to concentrate and learn in that environment.

Still, there are plenty of people who will remind us that by asking her school to obey the law, Jessica brought this on herself.  A commenter identifying as Ken said…

You reap what you sow Jessica. How naive of a child she must be to think her actions would have no intended consequences.

Sure, Jessica shouldn’t be bullied to the point of transfer; she’s only going to experience similar problems elsewhere. You made your bed, now sleep in it and deal with the problems. Perhaps her next crusade should be taking the word “God” out of the pledge of allegiance. Good luck with that….

Of course!  She should have known asking her school to stop breaking the law would result in consequences like harassment from god-fearing people!  Jessica is the one in the wrong (not in the judge’s eyes, of course)!  It’s not the fault of the people who would happily break the law to favor their religion and who are threatening the well-being of a sixteen year-old girl.

Tell me again how Christianity makes people better…

Or how about Tina’s comment?

If she thought that she could do something like that and not have anyone say anything about it…she should have thought again and weighed all the pros and cons of what her actions could entail. Going to a different school will not help her, she is just running away.

For weeks we’ve heard the mob wishing this little upstart would leave the state.  But oh, now that she’s miserable they want her to stick around and marinate in it for a while.

I’m sure Jessica knew people would say something about it, and I don’t think she takes issue with that.  She probably thought the loving Christians in Cranston wouldn’t say things like “definetly laying it down on this athiest tommorow anyone else?”, or “Let’s all jump that girl who did the banner”, or “But for real somebody should jump this girl” lmao let’s do it!”, or “hail Mary full of grace @jessicaahlquist is gonna get punched in the face”, and worse.  Sadly, it appears her only mistake was giving the godly too much credit.

Once more a commenter seems to think it’s Jessica’s fault, not the faithful thugs who have created that environment.  I suspect Jessica is fine with people disagreeing, but who could expect her to continue to go to school in that environment and be able to learn?  Who else would relish her misery?

Surely not followers of that religion of love.  Surely not.

The comments are full of true, true believers illustrating how useless faith is for producing compassionate people.  Fortunately there seems to be an ample army of evil little things going to town on the faithful in there.  *sniffle*  Makes me proud.


Jess has told me she’s not transferring schools.  She’s going to stick it out at Cranston West.  :)

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • raven

    They do indeed reap what they sow.

    Xians have been making atheists since 33 CE.

  • SuperM

    These people are too stupid to understand that mixing religion and State eventually results in Afghanistan/Saudi Arabia/Iran etc.

  • SuperM

    From: http://630wpro.com/Article.asp?id=2381209
    “Ahlquist, an atheist, said at school she has needed police protection the entire school day and is constantly being bullied by other students. “Even just in homeroom people screaming under God at me during the pledge of allegiance. It’s just a really hostile atmosphere. I’ve had police escorts to all of my classes all day. It is very difficult to concentrate on school in an atmosphere like that.”

    Chief Operating Officer of Cranston Schools, Ray Vatto, said that the school has received no formal complaints from Ahlquist regarding threats from other students.”

    Well, Ray Vatto, going to give you my opinion here: You are an ASSHOLE.

    • Arancaytar

      Well, Ray Vatto, going to give you my opinion here: You are an ASSHOLE.

      You need to say that formally or he won’t hear it.

      * * *

      This is freaking disgusting. The only bright side is the awesome support Jessica is getting from outside the school.

      (Hopefully Cranston West won’t try to appeal on the grounds that Jessica no longer has standing. Fairly sure that wouldn’t work, but still.)

      • SuperM

        ROFLMAO! I cannot over emphasize that this guy is a prick. She has a police escort Ray. A police escort.
        A guy with a gun is walking around the school with her all day you idiot. IDIOT.

    • Randomfactor

      I believe they HAVE received formal reports and the guy’s lying.

  • raven

    Y’all are missing the point.

    If you can’t demonize and bully a 16 year old girl, then who can you demonize and bully? This is what is known as “sophisticated theology”.

    I have to wonder how much of this is just mob behavior and bullying with an easy victim and xianity as the excuse. Cranston RI must be a boring place with nothing much to do.

    If their god was real, he wouldn’t be afraid of a 16 year old girl.

    This Cranston, RI god isn’t looking too powerful here. Probably my cat would scare it silly.

    • http://willisweb.com CoderHead

      If their god was real, he wouldn’t be afraid of a 16 year old girl.
      RAmen! Seriously though, why do Christians think an all-powerful deity would somehow be diminished or threatened just because a decoration was taken down? It doesn’t add up…

      • supermental

        Nothing adds up about these morons. BTW Jon, I enjoy reading your website.

  • raven

    Chief Operating Officer of Cranston Schools, Ray Vatto, said that the school has received no formal complaints from Ahlquist regarding threats from other students.”

    This guy has to be flat out lying.

    A 16 year old girl has a full time police escort at school all day.

    But he hasn’t heard anything about threats and bullying?

    Just what does he think the police are there for then?

    Remind me not to send my kids to a Cranston school. Seems like after 12 years of school, they would be a lot dumber than when they started at age 5.

  • jamessweet

    How naive of a child she must be to think her actions would have no intended consequences.

    No intended consequences, eh?

  • robb

    it makes me wonder why nobody has successfully gone after the “under god” part of the pledge. also, how come we still have the “god” word on our money. seems like they should be slam dunk rulings to get rid of them.

    oh, and Jessica should look into attending college and screwing high school. i bet she could pass a GED easily then go to a college where she would most likely have a much better educational experience without all the christian terrorists harassing her.

    • Ze Madmax

      My understanding is that, unlike the prayer banner, the “God” invocation in the Pledge of Allegiance and U.S. currency is vague enough that it does not equal governmental support for religion. If the pledge/bill said “Yahweh” or “Allah” instead of just “God”, then it would (presumably) be a different issue.

      (Of course, I could be completely wrong… IANAL and all that)

    • http://bigthink.com/blogs/daylight-atheism Adam Lee

      @robb: Michael Newdow has tried. Unlike in this case, the courts have ruled that they’re ceremonial deism (judge-speak for “let’s pretend that these obviously religious sayings aren’t really religious”).

      • Rory

        QFT, Adam. Ceremonial deism is the escape hatch judges uses when actually abiding by the Constitution would be too politically inconvenient.

  • Glodson

    I tried to read the comments. I really did. The ones attacking the girl were painful to read. I mean, not in the fact they were hateful and full of spite. No, they were just stupid. Painfully stupid. And a few seem to be written by people with a rather loose grip on grammar and syntax. Hell, if I were a religious person, I would remain silent out of the sheer embarrassment of the association with those morons.

    • raven

      Hell, if I were a religious person, I would remain silent out of the sheer embarrassment of the association with those morons.

      Up until recently, I was a religious person, a mainline Protestant.

      I did a lot more than remain silent out of embarrassment. After opposing and fighting against the fundies for a few years, I just decided the whole xian religion was something made up by humans and left for good.

      Hitchens: Religion poisons everything.

    • noastronomer

      When I read the truly badly written posts I try to remember that it’s really hard typing when your keyboard is covered in froth.

      • Rory

        Rick Santorum gets that a lot.

  • a miasma of incandescent plasma

    Commenter Ken: Perhaps her next crusade

    I don’t think Ken knows the historical context of the word he’s using here. It should be used as a descriptor of those opposing religious freedom (and no, RI x-ians, the government, and public schools count as government, telling you how to pray and to what god(s) is NOT religious freedom, it’s quite the opposite actually).

    • Glodson

      I don’t think that guy thinks. And I’ll just leave it at that.

  • Mary

    Quick question–
    If Jessica will no longer be attending the school, would there be any loss of “standing” in the appeal process? I wouldn’t think so, but I’d like to know for sure.

    Also, would she be able (if she desires) to sue the school for failing to provide a learning environment free of threats and other verbal abuse?

    Anyone know?

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    Tell me again how Christianity makes people better…

    I think the stock reply is that if it weren’t for Christianity she’d be dead by now because they wouldn’t have the restraint provided by Christianity. Apparently people don’t just need religion, they also need governement endorsment of said religion so that they only turn to threats of violence instead of actual violence when their religious power in society is challenged.

    In the end if they do use violence they weren’t real Christians and you just refer back to the above. It’s all nice and circular so you know it’s the Truth.

  • raven

    One thing is crystal clear about that prayer banner.

    It was a dismal failure. There is nothing uplifting, spiritual, or even normal about the currently visible xians in Cranston.

    They might as well fire it, toss it in a dumpster, or sue it for nonperformance or something.

    It’s now been conclusively proven that hanging prayer banners in schools doesn’t make people more moral or even more pleasant to be around. Oddly enough, if anything, it has the opposite effect.

  • Arancaytar


    Jess has told me she’s not transferring schools. She’s going to stick it out at Cranston West. :)

    Bullied to the point of needing police protection? Honey badger don’t give a shit. Words can barely describe the awesome. :D

  • Russell P.

    Consequences…CONSEQUENCES! These aren’t fucking consequences any more than rape is a consequence of revealing clothing.

    Those bastards.

  • Randomfactor

    Yeah, her uncle said on Facebook a while ago the story was “bullshit,” but didn’t go into specifics.

    IANAL, but even if she were to transfer, I think an appeal has to be made on the basis of a reversible error on the judge’s part at the time he made the ruling and she had standing at the time of the decision. (But I’m not sure at which point a decision can be made moot by other means–like, say, the auditorium burning down and taking the banner with it, not to advocate any such thing.)