Valedictorian’s Prayer During Graduation Speech After School Bans Prayer

June 5, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

A South Carolina high school valedictorian ripped up his pre-approved speech and recited a prayer during his graduation ceremony over the weekend.

Roy Costner IV of Liberty High School ripped up a speech and talked about his Christian upbringing before he recited a prayer, reported NBC affiliate KCRA.

“Those that we look up to, they have helped carve and mold us into the young adults that we are today,” he said. He also thanked his parents before he went into the prayer.

Costner apparently recited the prayer to protest his school district’s choice to restrict prayer in schools, reported Christian News.

However, according to the Daily Mail, Pickens County School District superintendent Kelly Pew said the district did not “ban” prayer in schools.

“What I find unfortunate are the mistaken and false representations that the Board or the District want to “ban” prayer from our schools,” she wrote in a blog post in March. “The difference between the Board taking unto itself an invocation that previously was given by invitation, and some sort of wholesale anti-religious campaign, is vast.”