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Judge rules for cheerleaders in Bible banner lawsuit

By Juan A. Lozano and Ramit Plushnick-Masti

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, May 8 2013 10:43 p.m. MDT

Kountze High School cheerleaders, from left, Savannah Short, Macy Matthews, Kieara Moffett and Rebekah Richardson speak to reporters Wednesday, May 8, 2013, in Beaumont, Texas. State District Judge Steve Thomas determined the Kountze High School cheerleaders' banners are constitutionally permissible. In a copy of the ruling obtained by Beaumont station KFDM, Thomas determined that no law "prohibits cheerleaders from using religious-themed banners at school sporting events." (AP Photo/The Beaumont Enterprise, Guiseppe Barranco)

Associated Press

HOUSTON — A judge ruled Wednesday that cheerleaders at a Southeast Texas high school can display banners with Bible verses at football games.

But the ruling might not have settled the issue of whether the banners are protected free speech, according to an attorney for the cheerleaders' school district.

State District Judge Steven Thomas determined the Kountze High School cheerleaders' banners are constitutionally permissible.

The Kountze school district had initially said the banners could not be displayed after receiving a complaint about them in September from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

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