Kountze Cheerleaders Return To Court Seeking Temporary Injunction

Liberty Institute and Beaumont Attorney David Starnes Continue Their Defense of the Kountze High School Cheerleaders during October 18 Hearing

KOUNTZE, Texas, Oct. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by Liberty Institute:

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WHAT: This week, Kountze High School cheerleaders continue with court proceedings in their high-profile free speech case as they seek a temporary injunction. The temporary restraining order they obtained Sept. 20 was extended on Oct. 4 for two additional weeks, while encouragement poured in from Texas Governor Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott, and supporters across the country. A scheduled court hearing in their small community—that has recently received national attention for the cheerleaders' heroic stance against unlawful government censorship—will determine if they can continue cheering on their sports teams with spirit banners containing Bible verses.

WHO: Liberty Institute attorneys Mike Johnson and Erin Leu along with Beaumont attorney David Starnes will represent the Kountze High School Cheerleaders at the hearing. Kountze ISD legal counsel will also be present on behalf of the school district.

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 18 at 8 AM CT

WHERE: Hardin County Courthouse, 300 Monroe, Kountze, TX

DETAILS: The town of Kountze, TX, located 85 miles north of Houston, burst into a firestorm of media attention after the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation complained to Kountze ISD Superintendent Kevin Weldon about the students making and displaying run-through banners containing religious messages. Weldon placed a district-wide ban on the religious banners until Starnes and Liberty Institute, on behalf of the cheerleaders, pursued and were granted a temporary restraining order that allowed cheerleaders, students and fans alike to continue encouraging their sports teams using religious banners. During a hearing on Oct. 4, the judge extended the temporary restraining order and set a follow-up hearing on Oct. 18. The extension allowed the cheerleaders, players and more than 3,000 fans to enjoy the student-made religious banners at their first home varsity football game since the ban was temporarily lifted.

Last week, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott defended the cheerleaders' religious freedom in a letter, referring to the FFRF as "menacing  and misleading" bullies. Attorney General Abbott vowed to file a brief in support of the cheerleaders' religious liberties if Kountze ISD is sued for doing the right thing--once again allowing students to freely make and display banners without government censorship. Then, during a meeting by Skype, Gov. Rick Perry encouraged the cheerleaders with the example of disciples Peter and John who stood strong when they, too, were forbidden to express their faith in Acts 4: "We can not help but speak about what we have seen and heard."

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty's vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our Founding Fathers. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

SOURCE Liberty Institute



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