Monday, May 16, 2016

Atheists Nix Ohio Graduation Choir Tradition

Board members of the East Liverpool City School District demonstrated their ignorance of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, as well as their gullibility to atheist bullying when they decided to end the decades-long tradition of the school choir singing The Lord's Prayer at the East Liverpool High School commencement.
"When I was first on this board I expressed a concern about us singing. The comment made was that 'we know we are breaking the law, we will do it until we get caught.' Well, ladies and gentlemen we got caught."
-- Board President Larry Walton
For background, read the never-ending assault on public schools by atheists and the ACTUAL recent Supreme Court rulings.

Also read Atheists Can't Stop Prayer at Graduations, Judge Rules

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Atheists Say Too Many Christians at Ohio School

Atheists Help Liberal Schools Ban Christmas Choirs

Washington School Football Coach Forced to Stop Praying AFTER Games

Florida Student Failed for Being Christian, Lawyer Says

Ban Christians From Missouri Schools, Atheists Say

However, a Kentucky School Supt. Backs Prayer vs. Atheists

-- From "Lord's Prayer dropped from East Liverpool graduation ceremony" posted at WFMJ-TV21 (Youngstown, OH) 5/6/16 updated 5/12/16

When East Liverpool High School seniors graduate later this month, singing the Lord's Prayer will not be a part of the ceremony.

After a complaint by a parent, the district received a letter from The Freedom From Religion Foundation [FFRF, based in Wisconsin,] citing legal rulings on the separation of church and state.

. . . Larry Walton tells 21 News that the prayer has been part of commencement for the ten years he has been with the school.

However he says following the complaints, the school will no longer the prayer during the ceremony.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Prayer’s removal prompts response" by Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Staff Writer, Morning Journal News (Lisbon, OH) 5/10/16

[Choir director Lisa] Ensinger said she sang the song at her own graduation and, when interviewed for her position, was asked what would happen if she was ever told students could not sing it.

"I said, 'That's the day I resign,' and now it's happened and my heart is broken," Ensinger told the board, adding that the Lord's Prayer has been sung for district graduations for 70 years and saying, "I hate to see that go. When we stop having traditions what do we have left?"

President Larry Walton said, "The Supreme Court says we can't do it," saying other districts have tried to fight it and, in at least one, the legal costs were more than $850,000.

Board member Richard Wolf questioned, "I don't know when we voted on this. Did we vote on this? If it's student initiated, it's like prayer at the flag pole. If those people want to institute a lawsuit, let them."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Decision to remove Lord’s Prayer met with opposition" by Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, East Liverpool Reporter, The Review (East Liverpool, OH) 5/6/16

Since no public discussion or vote on the issue were held by the school board, the newspaper made a public records request for all emails between board members and [Superintendent Melissa] Watson to determine how the decision was made.

[The newspaper obtained] a flurry of emails between board members and Watson through May 1 in regard to the matter, with President Larry Walton the first to respond, saying, "Let us just not do it. We have 'gotten away' with it for 10 years. This is a battle we will lose. I don't believe we should waste our funds on such a legal encounter."

. . . [Board member Patricia Persohn wrote,] "I am hearing parents threatening to withdraw their students. I was elected to represent the views of the community, and they are screaming. At the time that I voted to replace the song, I thought we were being threatened with lawsuit. I do believe it is just a matter of time before we are engaged in a fight. We need to set this issue aside right now and move on. I will vote to let the song remain in the program."

In her initial emailed response, board member Sarah Porter said, "I'm OK with a lawsuit. I'm a Catholic girl, lol, I'm not opposed to the Lord's Prayer. In this day and age, I think the majority of the public will back us if a lawsuit is brought forth."

To read more of the internal E-mails of the board members printed in the article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Board asked to reconsider removing Lord's Prayer from East Liverpool graduation" by Danielle Cotterman, Reporter, WFMJ-TV21 (Youngstown, OH) 5/9/16 updated 5/15/16

"As a person of faith it means a great deal to me as you know, but as an educator I see this as an opening to a very broad door that can cause great detriment to our music education program," said Ensinger.

As a music educator she says she knows what is allowed and what it not. She says the rules are, if a piece of music has an educational value, it's permitted. So, she questions if the Lord's Prayer is not permitted, what other pieces would not be permitted?

"Mozart... his Requiem Mass, would no longer be allowed. Handel's Messiah would no longer be allowed. All of the music of the Medieval period would never be allowed," said Ensinger.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Prayer Banned in Washington Town — Nobody Cares