Lincoln County Cancels Graduation Prayer

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STANFORD, Ky. (AP) -- A central Kentucky principal says student-led prayer won't be part of the school's graduation ceremony later this month.

Principal Tim Godbey told The Advocate-Messenger that the decision stems from six students objecting to prayers being said at the May 24 commencement ceremony.

Senior Class President Jonathan Hardwick doesn't want to break the tradition and told WKYT-TV that the school might not be able to sanction it, but officials can't stop him from praying.

Graduating senior Bradley Chester is an atheist and says another person's religion shouldn't be forced on him.

Godbey said many in the community want to keep student-led prayer as part of the graduation ceremony, but he says it is his responsibility to "make sure the rights of every student are protected."

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