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ICC Note: In a unanimous decision issued by the Texas Supreme Court, the right of cheerleaders from public schools to display Bible verses on their football game banners must be protected. Judge John Phillip Devine stated that the school district no longer prohibits “religious signs or messages on banners at school-sponsored events.” In 2012, the Freedom from Religion Foundation issued a letter of complaint to the school district, demanding that they end the practice of using religious-themed signs.

By Michael Gryboski

01/29/2016 United States (Christian Post) – Public school cheerleaders’ right to include Bible verses on the run-through banners at football games must be protected, according to a unanimous ruling by the Texas Supreme Court.

In a decision released Friday, the Lone Star State’s highest court ruled in favor of the cheerleaders of Kountze Independent School District, sending the litigation to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth District in Beaumont.

Justice John Phillip Devine delivered the opinion, arguing that the cheerleaders’ legal action was not moot solely because the School District had altered their rules regarding religious banners.

“The district no longer prohibits the cheerleaders from displaying religious signs or messages on banners at school-sponsored events,” wrote Judge Devine.

“But that change hardly makes it ‘absolutely clear’ that the district will not reverse itself after this litigation is concluded, without the cheerleaders’ requested declaratory and injunctive relief.”

Devine also wrote that although “the district has indicated that it does not have any current ‘intent’ or ‘plan’ to” prohibit Bible verses on run-through banners, “the district has never expressed the position that it could not, and unconditionally would not, reinstate it.”

“Accordingly, we grant the cheerleaders’ petition for review and without hearing oral argument … reverse the court of appeals’ judgment and remand the case to that court for further proceedings,” concluded Devine.

In 2012, the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the Kountze Independent School District, demanding that its high school and middle school cheerleaders stop displaying religious-themed banners.

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