Published January 13, 2015
A Southeast Texas school district is appealing a court ruling that allowed high school cheerleaders to display at football games banners emblazoned with Bible verses.
The Kountze district filed the appeal Tuesday. The district says it wants the 9th Texas Court of Appeals in Beaumont to clarify whether the Kountze High School cheerleaders have a free speech right to include the religious messages.
The district says state District Judge Steve Thomas ruled the banners were allowed under the U.S. Constitution but stopped short of saying the cheerleaders had a free-speech right to them.
District lawyer Tom Brandt said the cheerleaders' legal advocates "are reading into the court's decision rights that just aren't there."
The Liberty Institute is a religious rights group representing the cheerleaders. It called the appeal "unfortunate."