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In 2012, atheist organization Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a complaint against a Texas high school when the school’s cheerleaders held up a banner with Bible verses on it at an athletic event.  Shortly after, the Liberty Institute filed a lawsuit against the school for forcing the cheer-leading squad to remove all religious references from the banners, claiming the school’s action violated the girls’ right to free religious expression.  The case is now set to be decided by the Texas Supreme Court.

08/11/2014 United States (Christian News Network) – Cheerleaders in Texas have appealed a ruling finding a lawsuit against their local school district moot after it changed its policies surrounding the display of Bible banners during school sporting events.

As previously reported, in Kountze, Texas, a tiny east-central Texas town with 2,000 residents, middle school and high school cheerleaders have used banners decorated with Bible verses for decades. Banners include messages such as “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” from Philippians 4:13 and “If God be for us, who can be against us?” from Romans 8:31.

However, in 2012, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) lodged a complaint with the Kountze Independent School District (ISD), claiming that the banners were a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s church-state clause, which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

In light of FFRF’s complaint, officials with the school district forced the cheerleaders to remove all Bible references from their banners. Soon afterward, the Liberty Institute—a Texas-based nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting religious freedom—filed a lawsuit against the school, claiming the cheerleaders’ rights to religious expression had been suppressed. This sparked a long, heated, seven-month legal battle, as the Kountze ISD (backed by the FFRF) argued that the cheerleaders were using school property to endorse Christianity, while the Liberty Institute defended the cause of the cheerleaders.

In May of 2013, a Texas judge sided with Liberty Institute and the Kountze cheerleaders, ruling that the banners “have not created, and will not create, an establishment of religion in the Kountze community.” But as the school district appealed the decision, the case soon made its way to Texas’ Ninth District Court of Appeals. In May, while upholding the cheerleader’s right to display the banners, the court ruled that the case was now moot because the district had since altered its policy 

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