Judge lets Texas cheerleaders keep their Bible banners — for now


KOUNTZE, Texas — A judge ruled Thursday that a group of cheerleaders can continue to display their Bible banners during high school football games until their case heads to court next June.

A Hardin County district court judge ruled in favor of the Kountze High School cheerleaders during a scheduled hearing in Kountze, TX, one day before the high school varsity football team's Friday night home game.

"We came into today's hearing optimistic, and our hopes were fulfilled by the judge's decision to grant a temporary injunction on the KISD's ban on religious banners," said Mike Johnson, Senior Counsel for Liberty Institute.

"No student should ever have to leave his or her religious expression at the school house gate. Thanks to this victory the bullying tactics will stop and an entire school district can exercise free speech without government censorship," said Johnson.

Most people in Kountze viewed the banners as evidence of the students' religious upbringing—Christianity and the Bible always had been fundamental to this town of 2,100.

But someone complained to a foundation that fights for the separation of church and state, and by Sept. 18, a day after receiving a letter from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the school superintendent banned the banners, and the town became embroiled in a controversy that has touched other communities nationwide.