- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2016

Graduating high school students in East Liverpool, Ohio, spontaneously recited the Lord’s Prayer at their commencement Sunday after the school board caved to atheists’ demands.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation threatened to sue the school district over plans for the East Liverpool High School choir to sing the Lord’s Prayer at their graduation ceremony, a tradition the school has held for 70 years, EAG News reported.

School board members decided this month to remove the song from the program.

“It was a decision made because we don’t have a lot of money and we’d rather hire teachers than pay lawyers,” school board president Larry Walton told a local NBC News affiliate.

But when valedictorian Jonathan Montgomery took to the podium to give his speech, he stayed silent and raised his arms. The graduating class then stood and recited the Lord’s Prayer in unison before sitting back down to roaring applause, EAG News reported.

The NBC affiliate called it “an organized revolt.”

“It was totally spontaneous, apparently something the kids wanted to do. I had no knowledge of it. The crowd seemed to support it,” East Liverpool Superintendent Melissa Watson said told The Intelligencer.

Only about a half-dozen students reportedly chose not to participate in the prayer.

The school board president said district officials are considering a nondenominational baccalaureate graduation service next year for students who prefer to keep God in the program, EAG News reported.

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