An east Texas cheerleading squad is at the center of the latest debate about religious expression in the public arena.
Some cheerleaders at Kountze High School, located 85 miles northeast of Houston, were writing Bible verses on homemade signs and bringing them to their school’s football games. After a complaint, the Texas Association of School Boards has advised the Kountze Independent School District to make the cheerleaders stop, according KHOU 11 News in Houston.
The station reported KISD superintendent Kevin Weldon, who heard of the complaint from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, told parents that religious signs at school-sponsored events would not be allowed.
“It is not a personal opinion of mine,” Weldon told KHOU. “My personal convictions are that I am a Christian as well. But I’m also a state employee and Kountze ISD representative. And I was advised that that such a practice (religious signs) would be in direct violation of United States Supreme Court decisions.”
One of those Supreme Court decisions came from a Santa Fe, Texas, case where student-led prayers at games were found to be in violation of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment.
The Kountze case could wind up in court, too.