Faced with a lawsuit, Ohio school bans ‘The Lord’s Prayer’
Thanks to an intervention by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), the East Liverpool High School in East Liverpool, Ohio has scrapped its 70-year-old tradition of singing ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ at graduation ceremonies.
According to this report, the FFRF wrote to the school saying that the song violates the law and requested that no religious song be performed at future ceremonies.
Choir director Lisa Ensinger appealed to the city school board to allow the song to be continued. She remembered singing the song at her own graduation.
When asked what would happen if she was told that her students could no longer sing it, she replied:
I said, ‘That’s the day I resign’, and now it’s happened and my heart is broken. I hate to see that go. When we stop having traditions what do we have left?
Ensinger told the board that one of her students who is an atheist wants to sing the song.
My students are devastated.
But school board President Larry Walton said it could cost thousands in dollars in litigation costs.
“The Supreme Court says we can’t do it,” he said, adding that other districts have tried to fight it and it cost them more than $850,000.
I’m not going to risk this school by trying to fight the Supreme Court. I’m as sorry as you are.
He added that since the Supreme Court decision, the district allowed the “Lord’s Prayer” to be sung but “just didn’t get caught.”