DALLAS (CN) - Kountze High School cheerleaders can display Bible verses on football game banners, a Texas judge ruled, blocking a school district ban with an injunction.
The Thursday order, entered by Hardin County District Judge Steve Thomas, revives the biblical banners pending the resolution of a complaint against the Kountze Independent School District. Trial is set for June 24, 2013.
"Plaintiffs have a probable right to the relief sought; and plaintiffs will suffer a probable, imminent, and irreparable injury in the interim," the five-page order states. "If the temporary injunction does not issue, the injury would be irreparable; and the applicant has no other adequate legal remedy."
on behalf of the students earlier this week, saying that the district should not have kowtowed to objections from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said that the district is misinterpreting the establishment clause and Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe
, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2000 that held student-led prayers at high school football games violated the clause.
Abbott applauded Thomas for granting the injunction.
"The Constitution has never demanded that students check their religious beliefs at the schoolhouse door," he said in a statement.
"Texas law supports students' right to freely express their religious beliefs without discrimination," he added. "We will not allow groups or individuals to wage a war on religion by trying to intimidate students into embracing a secular mindset."
Abbott says the foundation is wrong in bullying schools into denying students their First Amendment rights.
"The Constitution does not give preference to those who have no religious beliefs over those who do," Abbott said.