The Comstock Park High School choir performed “The Lord’s Prayer” six months ago at a benefit for the family of Nick Szymanski, a choir member and deeply religious student who was killed in an accident last October.
In honor of their classmate, the choir decided to sing it again during the school’s May 31 graduation.
But that plan changed Wednesday when choir director Keith VanGoor said school administrators would not allow them to sing the religious song during the graduation at Sunshine Community Church.
“We’re dealing with legal advice. Legal counsel said, `Don’t go there,”‘ explained Dwight Anderson, the superintendent of Comstock Park Public Schools. “I feel bad for the kids because they do a great job with it.”
The choir is feeling pretty bad, too, said member Hilary Shively, a junior. They want to sing the song once again in remembrance of Szymanski.
“It wasn’t meant to be preached religiously towards others, although some may have taken it that way,” Shively said.
“The Supreme Court has ruled that prayer at a graduation ceremony isn’t appropriate,” Anderson said. “I say the Lord’s Prayer every day. I have a strong faith and teach a Bible class at my church. But we are going to abide by the law.”