Ohio news channel WTOV is reporting that students at a recent graduation refused an order to drop the Lord’s Prayer from their commencement ceremony.
Singing the Lord’s Prayer, or Our Father, has been a 70-year tradition at East Liverpool High School in East Liverpool, Ohio. This year the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, which advocates for separation of church and state, told East Liverpool administrators they needed to stop their choir from singing the Lord's Prayer at graduation.
The school removed the song from last Sunday's program. School board president Larry Walton told WTOV that it was a matter of economics. "We said 'okay, we just won't do it anymore.' It was a decision made because we don't have a lot of money and we'd rather hire teachers than pay lawyers."
However, on the day of the commencement, students lead their own prayer. Valedictorian Jonathan Montgomery took the stage and led the entire class of graduates in reciting the Lord's Prayer.
"I know a lot of my student body was uncomfortable with it, just because it is tradition to have prayer at our school," Cami Post, class of 2016 vice president, told WTOV.
Walton said he is looking into having a non-denominational baccalaureate service next year.