Target: Superintendent Kevin Weldon of Kountze Independent School District
Goal: Allow cheerleaders to design banners with Bible verses
The cheerleaders of Kountze Independent School District in East Texas found a way to promote positive inspiration at football games. Incorporated with red paint on their banners are Bible verses such as, “And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” This Bible slogan is rather different then a few used in the past that read, “Scalp the Indians,” or “Pluck the Eagles,” which the cheerleaders felt generated a negative vibe at the stadiums. An alternate initiative of the cheerleaders to revitalize the school spirit should be promoted and supported by the school district not regarded as unlawful.
Students “Pledge Allegiance” in classrooms across the nation every morning to the words, ‘”one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” The prohibition of the students from writing Christian banner messages clearly violates their religious liberties and free-speech rights and seems hypocritical of the school district to ban.
These banners are not harmful, offensive, or disruptive in the overall peace of anyone at the stadiums, except perhaps the atheists and agnostics. One 11th grade cheerleader, 17-year-old, Rebekah Richardson, responds to these individuals saying, “They can be offended, because that’s their right. But so far there hasn’t been any opposition to what we’re doing. Nothing but support.” One of the lawyers representing the students and their families, David Starnes, agreed and argued that the cheerleaders’ Bible-themed banners were protected private speech, not government-sanctioned speech.
The cheerleaders’ supporters have put up lawn signs and started a Facebook page now with nearly 50,000 members. Furthermore, the outrage of parents and students has since caused national attention on this issue in hopes to permit the leaders of cheer to uphold their positive banners. The biblical verse banners should be allowed and the rights of freedom of speech and religious liberties should be protected by the Kountze Independent School District and state of Texas.
Dear Superintendent Kevin Weldon,
Cheerleaders in your district should be able to create positive spirit-filled banners with Bible verses. These leaders of cheer are trying to promote a healthy atmosphere by inspiring the players and people present at the games. Of course, if the banners were hurtful, offensive, and disruptive to the overall peace of people, then the banners should not be allowed. However, establishing banners with biblical verses that read, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me,” is the least of behaviors that should be banned at schools.
We encourage you to allow these students to continue making steps towards positive change. Perhaps these banners will generate a friendly atmosphere at all the games and more people will follow in the right direction of the spirited students. The banners with biblical verses are protected under a person’s right to religious liberties and freedom of speech and should be supported by you, and the entire Kountze Independent School District.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Facebook Page ‘Support Kountze Kids Faith’