Cheerleaders: Let’s go!
Scott: Kountze High School cheerleaders and their attorneys are celebrating a victory today. Not on the field, but in a courtroom.
Rebekah Richardson: It was very unexpected but we know that God knew all along. So, yeah, we’re just going with what He gives us and what He shows us.
Scott: A judge this week ruled that cheerleaders could display these religious banners at school games. It is the latest in a court battle that has gained international attention.
Last fall, the Kountze school district banned the religious posters after receiving a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Thomas Brandt: Cheerleaders represent the school. It’s a school-sponsored activity. It’s a football game. It’s on school property, the field. So, it seems to me that the law has been fairly clear.
Scott: The district has argued that when the cheerleaders are in uniform and performing on school property, they represent the school district. So, the religious signs would violate the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state. But the cheerleaders fought the ban in court, arguing that the banners are an example of the freedom of speech and religion. They have received a lot of support, including from Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Mike Johnson: If you are in the hallway between classes or you happen to be on a football field and you’re a student, you’re still an American citizen. You don’t shed your rights to free speech. And that’s why this is protected here.
Scott: After the judge’s ruling this week, the cheerleaders are expected to be back on the field in the fall with signs displaying spiritual messages.
Keiara Moffet: If you feel like you need to express something in a certain way, then you should do it because you should stand up for what you believe in.
Scott: School officials say they are in the process of amending district policy, meaning the district could try to ban the signs again in the future. And this week’s ruling could still be appealed. So, it is very likely that both the legal action and the debate over the religious signs is far from over.
Shelby, back to you.
- Whose rights, and which issues, are still being debated in this case?
- What do you think would be the fairest outcome?