Liberty SC is just a couple of towns away from me. We were at Littlejohn Coliseum on Sat. where all the Pickens County graduations were held to drop my granddaughter off to see her friends graduate, wish we had watched the Liberty High School graduation. The Freedom From Religion Foundation has already stopped the Pickens County School Board from having a prayer at the meetings, the School Board backed down, this kid didn’t, BRAVO for him. If you watch the video you will notice that the teachers behind him are all smiling but didn’t have the nerve to applaud.
Valedictorian surprises graduation crowd, draws cheers
Roy Costner throws out approved speech, says prayer
PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. —A school district under pressure to keep prayer out of meetings and gatherings got an unexpected delivery from one high school valedictorian
Saturday, at Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum, Liberty High Valedictorian Roy Costner IV took his speech to the podium, and in front of the crowd, tore it up.
John Eby, Pickens County School District spokesman, said, “They write their speeches. They send them to someone on staff to have them approved.”
But Costner clearly had something else in mind.
After speaking for a few minutes, he thanked his parents for leading him to the Lord at a young age, and then he said, “I think most of you will understand when I say, ‘Our Father, who art in heaven…” as he began to recite the Lord’s Prayer.
Much of the crowd broke into tentative applause that then grew into cheers that nearly drown out Costner’s voice as he continued the prayer.
Brian Hoover, who is from Liberty and attended the graduation, said, “You couldn’t even hear him doing the prayer anymore because everybody was clapping and cheering.”
Costner finished, pointing his finger in the air for emphasis, saying, “For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen,” followed by more cheers and applause.
Hoover said, “From the ACLU sending FOIA requests to every district in the state this year after the Chesterfield County case, then the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent us a complaint about religion at board meetings and some other issues as well. That is why the reaction to the prayer at graduation was loud.”