A high school valedictorian did something edgy by today’s politically correct standards: He scrapped his prepared, officially approved speech at graduation and recited the Lord’s prayer instead.
The audience broke out in wild applause on Saturday as valedictorian Roy Costner IV of Liberty High School in South Carolina launched into the prayer after thanking his parents for leading him to God at a young age.
Apparently the ACLU and other groups previously complained about prayers at South Carolina open government meetings, and, as a result, the Pickens County School District did away with prayer at the graduation ceremonies. That is, until Roy Costner took the mic (see embed below) and registered what appears to be a protest against that decision by ripping up his prepared remarks at the podium.
Going with a moment of silence instead of prayer apparently was not a popular decision by the school district, which may explain the strong reaction to Costner’s impromptu change and the cheering that followed.
Valedictorian speeches need to be approved by school district staff. Costner is off the hook with the school district, however, because he is now officially on his way to college. According to a spokesman for the school system, “The bottom line is, we’re not going to punish students for expressing their religious faiths. He’s a graduate now. There’s nothing we can do about it, even if we wanted to.”
Costner will start his freshman year at Clemson University in the fall where he plans to study computer science.
Watch high school valedictorian Roy Costner IV depart from his prepared remarks and recite the Lord’s prayer instead:
Do you think Roy’s Costner’s rendition of the Lord’s prayer rather than his approved speech was appropriate? Do you think that an atheist or member of another religion who might have been in attendance would find it offensive?