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The sweet exercise of freedom: 'See You at the Pole' this Wednesday
WHO CAN BLAME teachers and administrators for being
Tomorrow's "See You at the Pole" event is a case in point. Begun in Burleson, Texas, in 1990, SYATP is a student-initiated movement that encourages kids to gather at the flagpole before the opening bell on the last Wednesday in September to pray for their friends, teachers, government, school, and nation. Over 3 million students participate annually nationwide.
SYATP has survived many challenges. As a student-led movement, it falls under the protection of the Constitution's free-speech and free-exercise clauses. The Rutherford Institute in Charlottesville has successfully defended the right of students to advertise the event on bulletin boards, distribute fliers, and invite youth pastors--and even the right of teachers to join in. John W. Whitehead, president of Rutherford, notes, "The rallies are part of a long tradition of free and equal participation in expressive activities guaranteed by our Constitution."
In some parts of the world, the free expression of ideas is met with murder or mayhem. This Wednesday, the sight of students gathered at school flagpoles to pray will remind us that freedom is, indeed, sweet.