Law & Courts News in Brief

Texas Judge Permits Religious Banners

By Mark Walsh — October 23, 2012 1 min read

A Texas state judge issued a temporary injunction last week allowing a group of cheerleaders to continue to display banners with Christian messages at high school football games.

The injunction replaces a temporary restraining order that has permitted the 11 cheerleaders to display their banners in recent weeks.

The judge set a trial date for next June for the lawsuit filed by the cheerleaders, with the aid of the Plano, Texas-based Liberty Institute. It argues that the Kountze High School cheerleaders, a student-run squad, selected the messages independently and have a free speech right to display them.

The Kountze Independent School District, northeast of Houston, had told the cheerleaders last month that they could not display the banners after receiving a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., on behalf of an anonymous local resident.

The district has argued that the banners were akin to the student-initiated prayers before football games that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down in a 2000 case from Texas known as Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 24, 2012 edition of Education Week as Texas Judge Permits Religious Banners

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