Laurens District 55 High School
|Laurens District 55 High School|
|5058 Highway 76 West Laurens, SC 29360
Laurens, South Carolina
|Type||Public high school|
|Superintendent||Dr. Stephen Peters|
|Number of students||1700|
|Color(s)||Green & Gold
|Rival||Clinton High School|
Laurens District 55 High School, also referred to as "LDHS" or simply "Laurens High School" is a 4 year public high school in Laurens, South Carolina.It is the only high school in Laurens School District 55, and one of two in Laurens County, South Carolina. The feeder schools include Laurens Middle School, Sanders Middle School, Gray Court Owings, and Hickory Tavern Middle School. The school was opened in 1972 when Hickory Tavern, Sanders, Gray Court-Owings School, Ford and Laurens High schools were joined together to create one high school. "District 55" was added to the end of the name to differentiate between the pre-existing Laurens High School, and appease the communities represented by the three other high schools. Today the school is embraced as the only high school and the official name is not commonly used.
Laurens High School has a variety of 9th grade, Junior Varsity, and Varsity Sports. Football is the most popular sport, with some 10,000 fans taking in the annual Laurens vs Clinton rivalry game each fall. The team plays its home games at K.C. Hanna Stadium, located on the school grounds. Each game can be heard on radio through 860AM WLBG. The Raider Football team has 3 AAAA State Championships in its history: 1983, 1984, and 1991. The Laurens High football team has won several State Championships. The Laurens Raider track team won the AAAA track State Championship in 1992. The Laurens Raider wrestling team also won a Region 1AAAA title in 2011. The Lady Raider Softball Team has won Region Championships in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The school traditionally allowed the student body to vote on whether an invocation would be held at graduation each year. However, in May 2011, a student brought the issue to the attention of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. As a result, former school superintendent Billy Strickland announced that the prayer would no longer be permitted. In a public statement, Strickland remarked, "Our legal counsel has advised us that we should discontinue the practice of voting on whether to have an invocation delivered at the graduation ceremony so we do not create a basis for a legal challenge.”  Strickland did go on to say that the school cannot legally stop the students who speak during the ceremony from referencing religion. Therefore there are still prayer invocations at athletic matches.
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