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Demopolis students prepare for ‘See you at the Pole’, 2008

Across the nation this morning, thousands of students will come together at a symbol for schools, the flagpole. The flagpole is the symbol used on maps to indicate where schools are located. Today, it will represent a coming together of students for the annual “See You at the Pole” celebration.

Organized by students, “See You at the Pole” is an annual meeting for public prayer. Students are invited to gather at the school’s flagpole — usually at 7 a.m., like Demopolis High School’s celebration — and pray together.

The celebration began in Texas in 1990 and went national the next year.

“See You at the Pole” is celebrated on the fourth Wednesday of September.

While many people may believe that school and prayer are not supposed to intertwine through Constitutional limitations, it is actually the Constitution’s First Amendment that allows students to organize prayer at a public school.

The confusion arises in that the Constitution says that the government — and, by extension, public school administrators — cannot organize or lead students in prayer, although school administrators may also join the celebration if they wish.

Demopolis students also plan to extend the “See You at the Pole” celebration on Thursday, when they will have a prayer walk at all four Demopolis City Schools. Those taking part in the prayer walk will meet at the First Baptist Church on Thursday at 6 p.m., then will go to the schools by 7 p.m., where they will walk around the schools and pray for an hour. Participants will walk, then stop at stations around the school and pray for some aspect of the school or other prayer concern, then continue the walk.