SYATP 20TH Anniversary
Special Report - September 22, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, marks the 20th anniversary of “See You at the Pole” (SYATP), the student-led, student initiated prayer gathering that is observed by millions of students annually at public and private schools across the nation, including North Carolina. SYATPwhich began in Texas in 1990 and is coordinated by the National Network of Youth Ministriesis typically held at 7:00 a.m. in front of a school’s flagpole at elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as on college and university campuses, nationwide. During this time, students meet for a time of worship and to pray for their nation, their teachers, their families, and their friends. SYATP prayer gatherings are also held annually in several other countries around the world, including Australia, where it is observed in May. This year’s SYATP theme is “Engage: go and pray,” and is based on 2 Kings 22:13a.
Last year, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) published a legal memo for students aimed at helping them understand their “constitutional right to participate in SYATP through prayer and worship activities.” The ADF memo explains that in addition to participating in the prayer gathering, “students have an individual constitutional right to inform their fellow students about the SYATP event as long as they do not materially disrupt the academic process while doing so. In addition, if the school allows individual students or student clubs to advertise events through school bulletin boards, school PA systems, general posting of student flyers, or other means, the school cannot forbid the same means of advertising for the SYATP event.”
For more information about “See You at the Pole 2009,” including promotional and planning materials, visit the web site at www.syatp.com. Additionally, Doug Clark, director of field ministries for the National Network of Youth Ministries, was recently a guest on the North Carolina Family Policy Council’s weekly radio program, “Family Policy Matters,” where he talked about the 2009 SYATP, as well as the history of the prayer gathering. To listen to that interview, go here.
Copyright © 2009. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.