AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- A judge stopped an East Texas school district on Thursday from barring cheerleaders from quoting biblical scripture on banners at high school football games, saying the policy appears to violate their free speech rights.
District Judge Steve Thomas granted an injunction requested by the Kountze High School cheerleaders allowing them to continue displaying religious-themed banners pending the outcome of a lawsuit set to go to trial next June 24, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said. Thomas previously granted a temporary restraining order allowing the practice to continue.
School officials barred the cheerleaders from displaying banners with religious messages such as, "If God is for us, who can be against us," after the Freedom From Religion Foundation complained. The advocacy group says the messages violate the First Amendment clause barring the government -- or a publicly funded school district, in this case -- from establishing or endorsing a religion.