AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued the following statement after the Texas Supreme Court decided not to review a lower court’s decision upholding the constitutional right of Kountze cheerleaders to display banners with Bible verses at high school football games. The Kountze Independent School District appealed last year’s ruling by the 9th Court of Appeals that said the Bible verses on banners were not government speech that could be regulated by school officials.
“The Kountze cheerleaders case involved personal expressions of faith and an ill-advised school district change of policy that mislabeled their expressions as government speech,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Religious liberty is the foundation upon which our society has been built. The Texas Supreme Court’s decision ensures that the Kountze cheerleaders and other cheerleaders across the state will be able to display their expressions of faith on banners at football games.”
In September 2015, Attorney General Paxton filed an amicus brief with the Texas Supreme Court in Matthews v. Kountze Independent School District, supporting the constitutional rights of Texas’ public schoolchildren to express their own messages at school and school-related events. The attorney general’s office intervened on behalf of the cheerleaders’ lawsuit in 2012.