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Students participate in “See You at the Pole”

Four schools within Colleton County participated in the “See You at the Pole” spiritual event last Wednesday. Students from the University of South Carolina’s Salkehatchie Campus, Colleton Preparatory Academy, Colleton County High School, and Colleton County Middle School participated in the event.

Now in its 22nd year, “See You at the Pole” is held on the fourth Wednesday of September. Christian students of all ages gather at a flagpole in front of their local school for prayer, scripture-reading and hymn-singing, during the early morning before school starts.

Prayer has been ruled unconstitutional in U.S. schools, but students are able to organize and pray together under their rights of free speech as outlined in the First Amendment. See You at the Pole is held the fourth Wednesday of every September, and the events must be student organized and held without any outside interference.

This simple movement began in 1990 with 10 students in Texas who felt led by the Spirit of God to go to three separate schools and pray for their friends. See You at the Pole is a global movement of prayer which is student-initiated, student-organized, and student-led.

The event revolves around students praying together on the fourth Wednesday in September, usually before school and usually at the school’s flag pole. It involves student in elementary schools, middle/junior high schools, high schools, and colleges/universities across the globe. Adults often pray in support of the students on campus by gathering nearby, at their places of work or worship, or at city halls.

Colleton County School District Special Services Coordinator Rebecca Crook said Monday that her children have participated in the program in Dorchester County, and she suggested that Colleton County Middle School might also want to participate in the program. “I brought it to Walterboro. This if the first year we have done this,” she said. “It wasn’t done here last year.”

At Colleton County High School, Junior Class student Hannah Houck organized the See You at the Pole event. The adult participants were CCHS Chorus Instructor Stephanie Drawdy and Pine Grove Baptist Church Pastor Ken McCaskill.

Hannah said she got the program going at CCHS after she became aware that there was not one in place. “I heard about the program ‘See You at the Pole’ through Jeff Leopard, the new youth director at First Baptist Church. He encouraged us to attend our school’s program. When I realized that I did not think our school had a program planned for this year, I planned it very quickly, within a few days. But God blessed us with a great turnout. I hope to see the program grow to be even bigger and better in the following years!”

At Colleton Prep, Shana Ayer was in charge of activities. The academy’s Fellow Christian Athlete’s Club organized the event. Students in grades K-12 attended along with faculty and staff at 7:30 a.m.

Several students from USC Salk also participated in See You at the Pole. Student Catelyn Willis organized the event. The junior said, that with all the controversy at different schools across the nation being splashed across newspapers and television screens, she thought that the public should be offered another perception of how schools are viewed. “We always did this at Colleton County High School, and I just wanted the practice to continue,” Catelyn said. “With all the recent controversy at schools across the nation, I thought it was important to demonstrate that there are still Christians who want to stand up for our faith and not care what people think about us,” she said.