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At the Pole

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

See You at the Pole
See You at the Pole is a yearly international event when Christian students gather at school flag poles, churches, and online for prayer and worship. The focal point of the day is when students meet at their school's flagpole at 7 a.m. local time. The day takes place during Global Week of Student Prayer, a time when all students—public, private, and homeschooled—pray in various places throughout the week. Although adults—including pastors, teachers, and parents—are sometimes involved in See You at the Pole, their role is supportive, and students lead the day. See You at the Pole rallies, also known as Saw You at the Pole or See You after the Pole, are events that are often held on the evening of See You at the Pole. They are sponsored by local churches and local youth ministries and often include Christian music concerts, testimonies, drama, speakers, and worship.

School-sponsored prayer is not legal in the United States, but The Supreme Court has ruled that students can organize prayers, as their First Amendment rights do not end when they come to school. These rights were affirmed in the decision Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. Another court case that has implications for the day is Westside Community Board of Education v. Mergens.

See You at the Pole got its start in 1990. Early that year, a group of teenagers from Burleson, Texas, took part in a "Disciple Now" weekend. On the Saturday night of their retreat, they decided to drive to three schools and pray at the flagpoles. They prayed for their friends, schools, and leaders. This inspired students across Texas to gather at their flagpoles to pray. Youth leaders met and came up with the name "See You at the Pole." The formal idea for the day was shared with 20,000 students at the Reunion Arena in Dallas in June 1990. On September 12, 1990, at 7 a.m., over 45,000 students in four different states gathered at flagpoles to pray before school. See You at the Pole was initially to be a one-time event, but after it took place, students around the country heard about it and wanted to make it an annual occurrence. On September 11, 1991, about a million students gathered at school flagpoles, praying for their schools, friends, leaders, and country. The event has now spread around the world and has been observed in more than 60 countries.

If you are a student, gather with your friends at your school's flagpole at 7 a.m. to pray for students, your school, church leaders, parents, friends, and country. While gathering, you could also read scripture, sing worship songs, and listen to or give testimonies. Later tonight, you could attend a See You at the Pole rally. In preparation for the day, you could download the Campus Prayer app and reference the day's planning checklist. You could also visit the day's website for more information on how to publicize and plan the day. If you are a parent, you could let your children know about the day, and ask them if they plan to participate in it or if they heard about it happening at their school. Your role and the role of any other adults is to support, not to lead.

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