05/08/2013 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)
Texas – A Texas judge ruled Wednesday that cheerleaders in a small school district could wave Bible banners during football games. As reported by Reuters, State District Judge Steven Thomas ruled in favor of the cheerleaders stating that the banners were constitutionally protected free speech after an attempt by the Freedom From Religion Foundation was made to block them.
Waving banners with Bible verses and religious messages on them that football players run through when taking the field is a tradition in the small town of Kountze. The Wisconsin based foundation accused the Kountze school district of violating the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment in allowing the use of the banners, prompting the district to attempt to prohibit their use. The school district was subsequently sued by Texas-based Liberty Institute, who filed the case on behalf of the cheerleaders.
Liberty Institute General Counsel Jeff Mateer is quoted in the report as stating of the ruling, “This is a victory for students across the country…The message that this decision sends is it is impermissible for the government to ban the private speech of students.”
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