Cheerleaders allowed to use religious messages at sporting events

Cheerleaders in a Texas Town have been giving a temporary restraining order against the ban of religious and biblical messages on signs at sporting events.

The Kountze Independent School District banned the messages this month after the Freedom From Religion Foundation accused it of violating the Constitution.

Texas Attorney General Abbott disputed the assessment offered by opponents to the signs, saying the group “has a long history of attempting to bully school districts into adopting restrictive religious speech policies that go well beyond what is required by the United States Constitution.”

Superintendent Kevin Weldon said that he “spoke to legal counsel and they recommended to me that we instruct all administrators in the district that religious signs or messages would no longer be permitted at school district events and that student groups and their sponsors were to be notified of the prohibition effective immediately,”

The decision is on hold until an October 4 hearing.

The high school football team runs through the giant banners before each game.

Dan Barker, a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, disagrees with the decision.

“There’s a difference between free speech and government speech,” he said. “When those cheerleaders are wearing the uniform, when they’re at an official public high school event, they are not speaking for themselves — they are representing the school, which has a diversity of viewpoints.”

“School as a form of government must be neutral and include all viewpoints and not offend any viewpoints at that school,” he added.

A Facebook group created after the ban, Support Kountze Kids Faith, had more than 35,100 members.