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A Southeast Texas School Board is Hearing Opinions on Freedom of Religion by Cheerleaders

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Public comment is being considered on a southeast Texas school district’s ban on high school cheerleaders displaying religious messages.

The messages were hand written by cheerleaders on their banners and displayed by the cheerleaders at sporting events.

The Kountze Independent School District, which is about 20 miles north of Beaumont, banned the displays after being sued by the anti-religion atheist group, Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The Anti-religion organization is arguing that the cheerleader’s handwritten displays are unconstitutional endorsements of religion. They do not recognize the handwritten messages to be the cheerleader’s free speech.

The school district banned the displays in advance of the court date in June, but the court ordered a halt on the ban.

The District is having a hearing set for Tuesday where they will hear arguments on the issue from the general public, but, according to the interim superintendent, no action will be taken by the board following the hearing.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has joined the suit to defend the cheerleader’s 1st amendment right to free speech and freedom of religion. Texas Governor Rick Perry has placed his support behind the cheerleaders as well.

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