Liberty High valedictorian's speech causes stir - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Liberty High valedictorian's speech causes stir

Roy Costner speaks with FOX Carolina's Diana Watson. (June 6, 2013/FOX Carolina) Roy Costner speaks with FOX Carolina's Diana Watson. (June 6, 2013/FOX Carolina)
LIBERTY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

An Upstate high school valedictorian tore up his graduation speech and prayed instead.

Valedictorian Roy Costner spoke at his Liberty High School graduation as people in the crowd cheered when he threw away his pre-approved speech, reciting the Lord's Prayer instead.

Costner's impromptu speech was posted on YouTube, but that's not what the district said he turned in for approval.

The representative for the School District of Pickens County said Costner did recite some of his planned speech that was approved, but the original did not include religious comments.

Prayer in Pickens County has been highly debated this spring after the school board adopted a new policy that allows non-student led, non-sectarian prayer at meetings.

Following the board's decision, Costner said he spoke to his pastor and prayed before deciding his speech was the time to make a statement.

"It was an emotional moment," Costner told FOX Carolina on Tuesday. "It was overwhelming to look out and see the crowd and yelling."

FOX Carolina spoke with Costner again on Thursday about how much attention the video and his speech had received. He said his motivation to pray during his speech was to take a stand for what he believes in. Watch the raw interview here.

So far the speech has more than 539,000 views online.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • The Latest: Barbara Bush procession arrives at Texas A&M

    The Latest: Barbara Bush procession arrives at Texas A&M

    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:44 AM EDT2018-04-21 14:44:47 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:47 PM EDT2018-04-21 22:47:21 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Houston.

    Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin's Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

    More >>

    Guests have begun to arrive at St. Martin's Church in Houston for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

    More >>
  • Barbara Bush was 'first lady of the greatest generation'

    Barbara Bush was 'first lady of the greatest generation'

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:04:04 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:47 PM EDT2018-04-21 22:47:07 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>
  • Thousands sing 'Happy Birthday' to Queen Elizabeth II

    Thousands sing 'Happy Birthday' to Queen Elizabeth II

    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:54 AM EDT2018-04-21 10:54:10 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 6:46 PM EDT2018-04-21 22:46:21 GMT
    (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP). Britain's Queen Elizabeth raises her glass during speeches at The Queen's Dinner, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.(Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP). Britain's Queen Elizabeth raises her glass during speeches at The Queen's Dinner, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.

    Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London.

    More >>

    Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly