AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Supreme Court has declined to review an appeal of a lower court’s decision that said cheerleaders’ banners with Bible verses at football games are protected private speech.
The Kountze School District had appealed last year’s ruling by the 9th Court of Appeals in Beaumont that had said the Bible verses on the banners were not government speech that could be regulated by school officials.
David Starnes, an attorney for the cheerleaders, tells KFDM-TV Friday’s ruling means that cheerleaders throughout Texas “can freely express their sincerely held religious beliefs while representing their school.”
The cheerleaders filed suit in 2012 after the school district said the banners couldn’t be displayed. The district later allowed the banners but said it retained the right to restrict their content.