Liberty Alert

September 25, 2006

News Release

No Prayer in School? Millions of Students
Will Pray at "See You At The Pole" Gatherings

ORLANDO, FL - Wednesday, September 27, is the official day for the 17th annual "See You At The Pole" prayer rallies. The rallies are student-initiated, student-led events where students gather before school to pray for their classmates, teachers, schools, families, communities, states and nations. Each year approximately three million students from all fifty states and more than twenty countries gathered around school flagpoles to pray. Students in the United States have often met with resistance from school officials who are not educated about constitutional rights. Liberty Counsel has defended the right of students to participate in SYATP events in the past and is available to assist students who encounter problems with school officials regarding SYATP events.

This week is also the ninth annual "Scriptures in Schools Week" (SIS), a week when students bring their Bibles to share and to encourage Bible reading during free time at school throughout the year.

School officials across the country should be aware that students have a constitutional right to participate in SYATP and SIS on public school campuses and may not discourage these events. The United States Department of Education's "Guidelines on Religious Expression in Public Schools" recognize that students have the right to participate in SYATP as a protected act of religious expression.

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented, "It is beyond question that public school students have a First Amendment right to participate in 'See You At The Pole'. The Supreme Court has unequivocally stated that students have a First Amendment right to pray before, during or after the school day." Staver concluded, "School officials have an affirmative duty to educate themselves regarding the First Amendment rights of students, rather than acting out of bigotry, religious bias or ignorance of the law. If students encounter resistance from school officials about 'See You At The Pole', they should contact Liberty Counsel immediately."

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Liberty Counsel, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family. On the campus of Liberty University School of Law in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty Counsel's Center for Constitutional Litigation and Policy trains attorneys, law students, policymakers, legislators, clergy and world leaders in constitutional principles and government policies.

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