Kountze Cheerleaders Take Bible Banner Case to Texas Supreme Court
Kountze is a quiet little town in east Texas, situated in the Big Thicket just north of Beaumont. Recently, it began to make national headlines when the school district banned the use of Bible verses on banners made by the cheerleaders for football games. Apparently, the cheerleading squad of the local high school had taken to dropping some God quotes on the banners football players would run through onto the field, and the district said that violated church and state restrictions.
Naturally, the cheerleaders fought the ban in court, and eventually the district relented, allowing them to continue using the Bible verses, but that hasn't stopped them from pursuing the court case.
The nonprofit conservative religious group Liberty Institute is trumpeting the case because it believes it needs to have the state define what is government speech and what is the constitutional free speech of the cheerleaders.
"For over two decades, everyone understood that the banners are the cheerleaders' speech, not the government's speech," says James Ho, an attorney representing the teens. "So the cheerleaders should have the right to include religious messages if they want to."
Rice Owls Mens Basketball vs. St. Thomas University Men's Basketball
TicketsWed., Dec. 21, 7:00pm
Advocare V100 Texas Bowl
TicketsWed., Dec. 28, 8:00pm
Rice Owls Mens Basketball vs. Middle Tennessee State Univ Blue Raiders Mens Basketball
TicketsThu., Jan. 5, 7:00pm
PRCA XTreme Bulls
TicketsFri., Jan. 6, 7:30pm
Even though the district dropped its objections, the group presses on because it fears the district could reinstate the ban at any time. By getting a clear decision on the matter, they hope Bible verses can receive permanent protection from anything they consider censorship.
No word on if they also want to protect rap lyrics from censorship, but "Started from the bottom, now the whole team here," would make a damn fine banner.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.