Cheerleaders Told To Stop Putting Bible Verses On Banners At Games

KOUNTZE, Texas (CBS Houston/AP) — Some Southeast Texas cheerleaders have been told to stop putting Bible verses on banners for high school football games.

The Texas Association of School Boards this week advised the Kountze Independent School District not to allow such signs.

Superintendent Kevin Weldon contacted the association after the Freedom from Religion Foundation notified him that a resident complained about the signs.

Weldon then told parents that student groups are not allowed to display religious signs at school-sponsored events. Weldon says the ban includes run-through banners at football games.

“It is not a personal opinion of mine,” Weldon told KVUE-TV. “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 would be in direct violation of United State Supreme Court decisions.”

Cheerleader Macy Matthews says no school money was used and the signs weren’t made on school property.

Kountze football player Darrion Harper told KVUE that he will continue playing to honor God.

“It means I’m playing for the Lord Jesus God and my teammates,” Harper told the station.

The conservative Liberty Institute on Wednesday said banning religious speech on student-made signs is discriminatory.

A Facebook page supporting the Christian banners at football games has more than 33,000 supporters as of Thursday morning.

Kountze is 85 miles northeast of Houston.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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