The class of 2016 at East Liverpool High School in Ohio was not about to let an atheist activist group to ruin their graduation and decided to take matters into their own hands.
WTOV is reporting on efforts by the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation to prevent seniors from engaging in a 70 year commencement tradition which featured the choir singing the Lord’s Prayer. The group accused the school of infringing on the separation of church and state and threatened to sue if they didn’t drop the prayer from the program.
Knowing the school didn’t have the money for a costly legal battle, school board president Larry Walton caved in to their demands.
“It was a decision made because we don’t have a lot of money and we’d rather hire teachers than pay lawyers,” Walton said.
Students were not happy.
“I know a lot of my student body was uncomfortable with it, just because it is tradition to have prayer at our school,” said Cami Post, the class vice president, just before the ceremony. “I think it would’ve been nice to have the same as my brother had when he graduated.”
If Post knew what was about to happen, she didn’t let on to the press.
At the end of the ceremony, Valedictorian Jonathan Montgomery took to the stage and proudly began to pray the Our Father. As he spoke, the graduating seniors jumped to their feet and prayed along with him.
When the prayer was finished, they received a standing ovation from the crowd of onlookers.
Although Walton says he’s considering a non-denominational baccalaureate next year, that’s a long way off – and these feisty students will certainly have something to say about it!
© All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace® http://www.womenofgrace.com
It’s up to us to give our young people the confidence they need to “fight the good fight” in this world. Young Women of Grace aims to do that just that! Click here for more information.