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Despite objections, prayer goes off at graduation

May 27, 2013

STANFORD, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky high school graduation has included student-led prayer despite the opposition of some students.

Lincoln County High School 2013 Class President Jonathan Hardwick received a standing ovation after he prayed briefly during Friday’s commencement ceremony. Hardwick closed his prayer “in Jesus’s name” and many audience members echoed his closing “Amen.”

The Advocate-Messenger reports that six students, including at least one atheist, had pleaded with school officials to stop the planned prayer. Atheist activist Ricky Smith, who attended the ceremony, argued that it violated the rights of non-Christian graduates.

Principal Tim Godbey, who says he personally prays for each of his students daily, said faculty members are not allowed to pray publicly on school grounds or at school-sponsored functions, but students can do so as long as they are not otherwise disruptive.

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187-c-12-(Brett Barrouquere (BAYR’-uh-kay), AP correspondent)-“it wasn’t disruptive”-AP correspondent Brett Barrouquere reports six students wanted school officials to prevent the class president from praying at the commencement ceremony. (27 May 2013)

<<CUT *187 (05/27/13)>> 00:12 “it wasn’t disruptive”

186-c-11-(Brett Barrouquere (BAYR’-uh-kay), AP correspondent)-“who aren’t Christians”-AP correspondent Brett Barrouquere reports that objections were raised to the student’s prayer. (27 May 2013)

<<CUT *186 (05/27/13)>> 00:11 “who aren’t Christians”

185-c-03-(Brett Barrouquere (BAYR’-uh-kay), AP correspondent)-“it was done”-AP correspondent Brett Barrouquere reports that the class president’s prayer was well received by the audience at the commencement ceremony. (27 May 2013)

<<CUT *185 (05/27/13)>> 00:03 “it was done”

184-c-08-(Brett Barrouquere (BAYR’-uh-kay), AP correspondent)-“there Friday night”-AP correspondent Brett Barrouquere reports that a graduation ceremony included student-led prayer despite the objections of six students. (27 May 2013)

<<CUT *184 (05/27/13)>> 00:08 “there Friday night”

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