Local students join millions at flag pole prayer

By Faith News Note,

On September 26, 2012, about 40 Christian students gathered at the at McMinnville High School flagpole to participate in a “See You at the Pole” (SYATP) prayer meeting. The News-Register reports that students at Yamhill-Carlton, Dayton, and Newberg high schools also participated in this annual global event.

“Our country isn’t what it used to be, so it needs prayer,” McMinnville student Ady Garlinghouse told the News-Register.

Although prayer in the schools has been declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, in 1968 the Court in the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District ruled that the First Amendment right of free speech applied to students in public schools. The ruling protects the students’ rights to gather for prayer before or after school hours as long as the meeting is not sponsored by the school. The SYATP meetings are all student-organized and student-led.

See You at the Pole was started in 1990 in Texas by ten students, according to their website. This year millions of students in the US participated, as did thousands of others in nations around the world.

The theme for 2012 was “Awaken,” a call to spiritual awakening. “Our nation, with all the divisions we have right now, really needs a moral and spiritual awakening,” SYATP organizer Doug Clark told the Christian Post.

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