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Texas Cheerleaders Get Win In State Court

A Texas appeals court has sided with a group of cheer­leaders who sued to display Bible verses on banners at their public high school’s football games.

In the Sept. 28 ruling in favor of Kountze High School cheerleaders, the 9th Court of Appeals deemed the Bible verses a form of “private speech.”

Football players would crash through the large signs, which included messages like “But thanks be to God, which gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” and “If God be for us who can be against us?”

Penalty Flag

Joe Kennedy, an assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Washington State, insisted that he had a right to pray with players and students at the 50-yard line after games.

Officials at Kennedy’s school felt differently – and so did Americans United. On Aug. 23, a federal appeals court sided with the school, issuing a 3-0 ruling making it clear that public-school teachers and staff have no right to engage in religious activity with students.

Offside And Out Of Bounds

Frank McIntire wasn’t looking to hear religious sermons when he attended football games at Haralson County High School in Georgia. But that is exactly what he experienced for six season’s worth of Friday nights – courtesy of clergy-led prayers that echoed from the stadium loudspeaker.

Federal Court Denies Public School Coach’s Request To Pray With Students

Bremerton High School Assistant Football Coach Joe Kennedy Loses Round In Court

A federal court today rejected a motion by a public high school football coach in Bremerton, Wash., who sought the right to pray with students after games.

Joe Kennedy, an assistant coach at Bremerton High School, was placed on administrative leave last year after he refused to stop praying on the 50-yard line at the end of the school football games. He then decided not to reapply to be a coach this year.

Wash. High School Coach Claims God Approves Prayers

A football coach at a Bremerton, Wash., high school is on paid leave after refusing to end his public post-game prayers. Joseph Kennedy has held the prayers on the 50-yard line since 2008 and claims he has “an agreement with God” to continue them.

In October, the Bremerton School District ordered Ken­nedy to stop the public display as well as his practice of holding pre-game locker room prayers. The coach agreed to the latter, but said his post-game prayers are private and that the demand to end them violated his religious freedom.

AU Tells Utah University To End Classes In LDS Faith

Americans United has asked the University of Utah to end a supposedly voluntary religious class taught by two assistant coaches with the school’s football team.

Thanks to a media report, Americans United learned that Morgan Scalley, the Utes’ safeties and special-teams coach, and Sione Pouha, a student assistant who played in the NFL, have been leading classes on the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

Ga. High School Drops Official Pre-Game Prayer After Americans United Complaint

Officials at a Georgia high school agreed to stop reciting prayers over loudspeakers before football games thanks to a complaint from Americans United, but a new controversy has arisen in the wake of this decision.

West Laurens High School in Dexter agreed to replace its pre-game prayer with a moment of silence. But before a game on Aug. 21, many attendees interrupted the moment of silence by reciting the Lord’s Prayer in unison and then singing “Amazing Grace,” which was played by the school marching band.

Texas Supreme Court Hears Cheerleaders Case

Americans United, the ACLU and the ACLU of Texas have urged the Texas Supreme Court to rule against a group of public school cheerleaders seeking the right to display Bible verses at football games. The groups filed a friend-of-the-court brief in July, arguing that the Kountze Independent School District should be able to prevent official representatives from endorsing religion at school events.

Groups Say First Amendment Does Not Permit Texas Public School Cheerleaders To Display Religious Signs

Texas Supreme Court Should Prohibit On-Field Bible Banners, Watchdog Organizations Say

A Texas public school should be required to prevent cheerleaders from displaying large banners with Bible verses on the field during football games, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and its allies have advised a state court.
In a friend-of-the-court brief filed yesterday in Matthews v.