STANFORD, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky high school graduation has included student-led prayer despite the opposition of some students.
Lincoln County High School 2013 Class President Jonathan Hardwick received a standing ovation after he prayed briefly during Friday's commencement ceremony. Hardwick closed his prayer "in Jesus's name" and many audience members echoed his closing "Amen."
The Advocate-Messenger reports that six students, including at least one atheist, had pleaded with school officials to stop the planned prayer. Atheist activist Ricky Smith, who attended the ceremony, argued that it violated the rights of non-Christian graduates.
Principal Tim Godbey, who says he personally prays for each of his students daily, said faculty members are not allowed to pray publicly on school grounds or at school-sponsored functions, but students can do so as long as they are not otherwise disruptive.