Friday, September 21, 2012

Court Issues TRO Allowing High School Cheerleaders To Use Banners With Bible Verses

Earlier this week, after a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Texas Association of School Boards advised the Kountze (TX) Independent School District to ban football cheerleaders from displaying banners, including run-through banners, containing Bible verses. As reported by AP, cheerleaders and their parents objected to the ban, saying the banners were not made on school property and no school money was used to make them. So, as reported by Liberty Institute, cheerleaders and their parents filed suit in state court seeking a temporary restraining order allowing them to use the banners, arguing that: "This is a quintessential example of students private speech being censored unnecessarily by uninformed school officials."  In Matthews v. Kountze Independent School District, (TX Dist. Ct., Sept. 20, 2012), the court issued a TRO restraining the school district from preventing the cheerleaders from displaying banners  or run-throughs at sporting events and/or censoring the sentiments expressed on them. The court scheduled a hearing for Oct. 4 on whether the TRO should be made into a temporary injunction.