It deals with students and our constitutionally protected freedom of religion. There is a need to change hearts and protect the religious rights of all students. Our schools should be a place where, we, the students, are empowered and educated in the exercising of our freedom of religion. 

As students, we can stand up and protect that freedom without the help of our politicians, our parents, or even our teachers. We have our faith as individual students. We want to be able to share it and grow in it with other like-minded students.

Currently, I am a part of a student-lead organization called “Protect Prayer” that reflects our mission in its name. We chose to use the term “protect” because it motivates students to take diligent action. The foundation for “Protect Prayer” can be found in Ephesians 6:10-20 where Paul, by the inspiration of God, tells us to, “Put on the whole armor of God…” Our logo is based on the Shield of Faith also referenced in this passage, whose purpose is to protect us from “…the fiery darts of the evil one.” At the end of this passage, Paul states that all of the armor of God is bound together by one thing: Prayer. Thus, protecting prayer is our cause because it is the core of expressing our faith.

I believe the opposition facing our cause is largely due to misinformation. For example, it is presumed that our recent actions are only in retaliation to the recent lawsuits against our local school boards. However, that is not true. Though these lawsuits have been sort of a wakeup call for us, our faith has always been important to us as individuals and as a community. Even if a lawsuit did not exist, we would still be purposeful in living a life rooted in Christ.

While they seek to silence and restrict us, the effect of these lawsuits has been the exact opposite on us. We are experiencing real encouragement and empowerment from the rest of our community. We have had students from almost every school in the surrounding area submit personal responses to our Facebook page that have reached countless others beyond our classrooms. We were also able to host a series of  successful student rallies that were heavily attended and hugely inspiring. I have never personally witnessed so many other students bravely proclaim their faith so openly and truly desire to take action in protecting it.

Though the legal battles may be long, I, like so many other students, plan to remain steadfast and faithful. No matter what happens, I will always be ready to share the hope that I have in Christ with gentleness and respect, and I hope others will do the same. Our generation may not have it all figured out when it comes to life, but we have our faith in Christ to help us along the way. That is something that no lawsuit can ever take away from us. 

Prayerfully yours,

Jacob Rhymes
Public Relations Director of Protect Prayer
Haughton High School