Blog Post

Students to Pray Outside Schools on September 24

by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Writer Students across the nation will be gathering around the flagpoles of their schools before classes begin on Sept. 24 to pray for their schools, teachers and the country in order to exercise their First Amendment right to pray at their schools. See You at the Pole ™ is an annual, student-led, student initiated movement of prayer meant to stress that prayer is a protected form of speech that cannot be banned by school officials when it is being offered in this manner. The movement was started by teens in Burleson, Texas in 1990 and by the end of that year, had spread to 1,200 campuses involving 56,000 students. It is now a national event held every year on the fourth Wednesday of September. The nation’s schools have too frequently become a place of restriction for students of faith and this movement helps to educate both students and the public on the rights of people with faith in a school environment. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), an organization dedicated to the defense of constitutional liberties, wrote a bulletin detailing the legal rights of students who participate in See You at the Pole events. In the bulletin, they point out that the Supreme Court has consistently upheld the rights of students to express themselves on public school campuses, and to hold Bible clubs and prayer groups on public school campuses. “Student prayer is a protected form of speech that cannot be banned by school officials, including prayer at See You at the Pole events,” they write. “A school official who refuses to allow students the right to pray on their campus is engaging in censorship in violation of the First Amendment.” In addition, if a public school receives federal funding, it is required to certify that they have no policy that “prevents or otherwise denies participation in constitutionally protected prayer in public schools.” Students are also allowed to share their faith openly at the event, bring Bibles and wear religious clothing to See You at the Pole events. This year, See You at the Pole  will be held in elementary schools, middle/junior high schools, high schools, and colleges/ universities all over the world. For more information, go to http://www.syatp.com/home/ © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly/Women of Grace. http://www.womenofgrace.com

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