Hundreds plan their own prayer protest at Bastrop graduation - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Hundreds plan their own prayer protest at Bastrop High graduation

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by Meg Smith

BASTROP, La. (KNOE 8 News)--There's controversy surrounding Bastrop High School's graduation. The superintendent has scrapped a traditional prayer and put in its place a moment of silence after a senior said he's an atheist, and the prayer violates his rights. The controversy is causing dozens of people to plan their own prayer.

Connie Porter is upset, because the opinion of one person has changed her grandson's graduation.

"We just don't think it's fair that one person said no so none of you are doing it," she said.

Porter now has a message written on her car that says: "Bastrop grads of 2011 will pray. Try and stop them. God is with them."

"I'm a Vietnam veteran," said Jackie Freeman who lives in West Monroe. "Our veterans have died and lost their lives for us to be able to worship."

Graduating senior Rekeshia Robinson says she respects everyone's beliefs, but that she doesn't always have to like them.

"At first I thought how can one person determine the outcome for everyone, but like they say, one apple can spoil the whole bunch," Robinson said.

In a phone interview, Superintendent Tom Thrower said that he's a Christian and prays every day. But after speaking with the school board's attorney, he came to the conclusion that because of a Supreme Court ruling that says prayer is not allowed in public schools if it's a school sponsored function - the school is simply having a moment of silence at graduation.

Porter and more than one hundred others plan to recite their own prayer during that moment of silence.

"We're going to say the Lord's prayer," Porter said.

And despite her anger, Porter believes the incident has done more good than harm, leading her and others to stand up for their Savior.

"If they think they're going to stop Him, they're wrong," Porter said. "They couldn't stop him from being raised from the dead and they're not going to stop him now."

Bastrop High's graduation is set for Friday night at 7 at the school's football stadium.

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