Man Fights For Appeal On Prayer Banner, Decision Tomorrow

Thursday night we should know whether the battle to hang a prayer banner at Cranston West High School will go on, or end.

The school board will decide whether to appeal the state supreme court's decision to remove it.

Wednesday, one man made a last ditch effort to save the banner. Richard Tomlins told us he spent his own money to send out nearly 19 thousand calls all around Cranston asking people to show up at Thursday's school board meeting and demand an appeal.     

The 80 year old even put together a YouTube video saying, “This is a call to arms to make sure that all of the lives that have been lost in defense of freedom and liberty for the land of the brave and free may not be in vain.”

Tomlins, who ran for Cranston mayor two years ago, said his goal is to get thousands of people at Cranston East for Thursday's appeal vote. He realizes it'll cost the school district money to appeal the supreme court's decision to take the prayer banner down, but he said it's worth it.     

Tomlins has lived in Cranston for 12 years and didn't go to West High School. However, the educator told us taking the banner down would do a dis-service to students. And he said, if nothing else, the school board should fight for them.

“What are we teaching the students in that school today and the future students,” said Tomlins, “We are telling them just because of money. That's the only reason they wouldn't vote to appeal it. Just because of money, we are going to give away our conscience. That's what it's all about.”

Tomlins said the prayer banner is art and not religious. That banner, put at Cranston West in the sixties, is now covered up by wood in the auditorium.