Millions of students, faculty, staff and administrators gathered at school flagpoles around the world this morning to pray for their schools, governments, and leaders as part of the annual See You at the Pole event.
The event, now in its 25th year, occurs on the fourth Wednesday in September. See You at the Pole (SYATP) began in Texas in 1990 when a group of Christian teenagers felt led to pray for their schools and then shared their experience. The movement grew into an international event, drawing youth and adults to pray each year before the start of the school day.
SYATP promotion coordinator Doug Clark said that the event creates unity among students. "Students are involved in many different churches, but they come together as the body of Christ when they pray at SYATP,” Clark said.
This year, legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has released a legal memo in support of SYATP, in the event that students are stopped from promoting or participating in the event.
ADF writes that "students have a constitutional right to participate in SYATP through prayer and worship activities" and "have constitutional rights to inform their fellow students about the SYATP event as long as they do not materially disrupt the academic process while doing so."
ADF attorney Matt Sharp said, "The First Amendment protects the freedom of students to participate in See You at the Pole and its prayer and worship activities. Anyone who says otherwise is misinformed. The purpose of our legal memo is to clarify the freedom of students to hold and participate in this annual event."
The theme of SYATP 2014 was “Never stop praying, especially for others,” based upon Ephesians 6:18a.
Publication date: September 24, 2014