Main | Friday, September 21, 2012

TEXAS: Judge Allows Christian Banners At Public High School Football Games

A Texas judge has issued a temporary restraining order that overrides a school board's decision that banned cheerleaders from using on-field Christian banners for players to burst through at the beginning of games.
The Kountze High School football team doesn't play another game until Friday, September 28. The middle school team played Thursday at 5 p.m., just hours after the ruling, and Kountze cheerleaders held up a religious-oriented, run-through sign as the team took the field. Attorney David Starnes filed court papers at about noon seeking the Temporary Restraining Order against the Kountze ISD on behalf of cheerleaders who believe they have the right to place religious messages on run-through signs at football games. Starnes told KFDM News the signs "weren't made on school time, weren't made using school funds and were done without any involvement of the school administration." His goal is to enable the signs to be displayed at Thursday night's middle school football game in Kountze. Superintendent Kevin Weldon told KFDM News someone complained to the district about the signs. He spoke with the district's legal counsel, and the Texas Association of School boards, and says he was told that according to a Supreme Court Decision, allowing religious scripture on run-through signs before games would violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
Numerous Christiantist groups are rallying around the cheerleaders, including the Family Research Council and the Liberty Institute, the latter of which is now providing free legal counsel.

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