SC: Valedictorian who ripped up speech and invoked God explains why he did it As for Costner, he believes that the removal of God and prayer from public schools will have negative consequences. “Originally, they were only supposed to take away prayer in the school district before meetings — [but then] they blew it way out of proportion, taking prayers out of anything,” he said, noting that teachers aren’t even allowed to participate in invocation events before the school day begins.