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.