A district court has extended the temporary restraining order on
a ban preventing Texas high school cheerleaders from displaying
scripture on football banners.
The court granted the Kountze High School cheerleaders a
two-week extension allowing them to
put Bible-based messages on the banners which the school had
prohibited. Liberty Institute attorney Mike Johnson said
the school superintendent offered a mea culpa during the latest
"It was actually an amazing bit of testimony on the stand,"
Johnson shares. "The superintendent of schools down there actually
conceded that he got bad legal advice from the school board's
attorneys, and he applauded the cheerleaders and said he personally
favors what they're doing. He wanted to encourage it."
The day after the hearing, Johnson said thousands showed up for
the year's first varsity football game. Kountze only has a
population of just over 2,000.
"It was exciting. And of course, when the football players took
the field and charged out of the home end zone, the cheerleaders
had this large banner with scripture painted on it [and] the crowd
erupted in cheers," says the attorney. "It was a great moment - a
great moment for free speech."
The biblical banners were first banned after the school received
a letter of protest from the Freedom From Religion Foundation based
on the complaint of a parent.
Last week, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
sent the cheerleaders a letter of support that criticized FFRF
for what he called its "long history of attempting to bully school
districts into adopting restrictive religious policies" that are
inconsistent with the Constitution.
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