The Texas Supreme Court has ruled recently on a case that had a lot of people talking. It has to do with football, cheerleaders, and bible verses.
One day the superintendent overseeing Kountze High School received a complaint from Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization based in Wisconsin. The group argued that because the cheerleaders were wearing official school uniforms and the sign was held at an official school event, that the school was sponsoring religious activities, violating the separation between church and state.
The school district then ordered the cheerleading team to stop displaying their Bible quote signs.
But the cheer team and their parents filed a lawsuit, too. After a lot of litigation, the court finally spoke (at least up to this point, since the suits are continuing their way through the system). The court said that the District were to allow the religious expression of the cheerleaders, though there was no guarantee that they would be allowed to in the future.
“The District no longer prohibits the cheerleaders from displaying religious signs or messages on banners at school-sponsored events,” said Justice John Devine in the court’s opinion. “But that change hardly makes ‘absolutely clear’ that the District will not reverse itself after this litigation is concluded.”
Credit: Eric Kayne for The Texas Tribune
On counsel for the cheerleader’s cause was lawyer Hiram Sasser, who 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.” He continued, saying, “No school district should be able to censor, ban, or claim ownership of the private religious speech of its students.”