ICC Note: After singing the Lord’s Prayer for the past ten years at their graduation ceremonies, Ohio’s East Liverpool High School has removed the prayer from the program following a complaint from an atheist complaint. The complaint arose after a parent contacted the Freedom from Religion Foundation, who then sent a letter of complaint to the school board. Many community members are disappointed with the board’s decision, and have spoken out to urge the board to reconsider.
By Heather Clark
05/11/2016 United States (Christian News Network) – A school board in Ohio is being urged to reconsider removing the Lord’s Prayer from its upcoming graduation ceremony after it was scrapped following a complaint from a prominent professing atheist organization.
According to reports, a parent of a student at East Liverpool High School contacted the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) following last year’s commencement to express their objection to the song.
The Lord’s Prayer has been a part of the graduation ceremony for the past ten years, but because FFRF contacted the East Liverpool School District to complain, officials decided to drop the song from the program to avoid a potential legal battle.
“The district should keep its musical program secular to respect the diversity of beliefs held by its students and families and to be inclusive of all students,” the correspondence read. “It makes no difference how many students want religious songs or wouldn’t be offended by them at their graduation ceremony. A graduation should be a celebration for all students, not an exercise in excluding non-religious students with a worship song.”
There was never any official vote on the matter nor public meeting about the issue, and the song was not fully discussed among the board until recently when members exchanged emails with each other about the issue.