School Tells Cheerleaders No Bible Verses, So Cheerleaders Call In the Feds
Cheerleaders banned from painting scripture verses on cheer banners
First Liberty Institute
Matthews v. Kountze ISD
A year after the Texas Supreme Court ruled against them, the school district filed yet another appeal to the Texas Supreme Court. First Liberty will continue to represent the cheerleaders and protect their rights from interference by the school district.
We believe that true religious liberty means recognizing the fundamental right of every individual—including all ages, races, genders, and faiths—to follow their conscience and to live according to their beliefs. Because of that, our mission is simple: protect religious freedom for all.
Jamuary 21, 2018
A group of cheerleaders from a Texas high school have won a court case to continue to display Bible verses on their banners.
According to First Liberty, the cheerleaders of Kountze High School in the southeast corner of the Lone Start State always had banners at their games, decorated with uplifting Bible messages.
One day in 2012, the superintendent received a complaint from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.
As a result, the school district ordered the cheer team to stop displaying Bible quotes.
So, the cheerleaders went to the Texas Supreme Court to fight for their First Amendment right to free speech.
In January 2016, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously voted in favor of the cheerleaders. But the battle didn’t end there.
According to the Dallas Morning News, in September 2017, the 9th Court of Appeals backed the Texas Supreme Court’s decision.
The normally liberal appeals court ruled the cheerleaders’ rights to display Bible quotes was “private speech” and thus should continue.
According to PR Newswire, the decision was not only a victory for the cheerleaders, but served as an example to other school districts in the state.
In a news release, Hiram Sasser, general counsel to First Liberty, said: “We are pleased that once again religious liberty is vindicated and that cheerleaders across the state of Texas have the right to have religious messages on banners at high school football games.”
“No school district should be able to censor, ban, or claim ownership of the private religious speech of its students,” he continued.
We applaud these brave women for standing up for their religion and their rights as American citizens.
The government can not and should not try to take those rights away.
Finally! We are seeing positive results where freedom of speech and religion have been under attack for the last few years. Hopefully more wins will once again bring, not a particular religion, but closely held beliefs, values, and freedoms back into the mainstream after years of being constantly battered and reduced by those who would remove them.