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Valedictorian rips up approved graduation speech, recites Lord’s Prayer

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Liberty High School valedictorian Roy Costner IV decided God was going to be part of his graduation regardless of what school officials in South Carolina thought about it.

After taking the podium, Costner ripped his approved speech in half for all to see and began speaking from a separate script, then thanked his parents for his Christian upbringing, according to Christian News.

“Those that we look up to, they have helped carve and mold us into the young adults that we are today,” he said. “I’m so glad that both of my parents led me to the Lord at a young age.”

“And I think most of you will understand when I say…” he continued, at which point he began reciting the Lord’s Prayer in defiance of the school district’s decision to no longer include prayer at graduation ceremonies.

“Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name,” Costner declared. “Thy Kingdom come…”

As surprised attendees realized what was happening, applause broke out accompanied by loud cheers.

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” he continued. “For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”

The crowd again broke into applause as Costner concluded, Christian News reported, as a faculty member sat smiling behind him.

“I think it took a lot of courage to do that,” one attendee told reporters. “People were [supportive] that he stood up for what he believed in.”

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Tom Tillison

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