Faith on the football field
Tyler, TX — There's a lot of attention swarming one Southeast Texas Public School District that might be facing a lawsuit. It's about students expressing religious beliefs on the football field.
Last month, cheerleaders from the Kountze School District were told to stop holding banners that had Bible verses on them during athletic events.
We spoke with an attorney from the "Freedom from Religion Foundation," who sent a letter to the school after getting a call from a local resident. Stephanie said, "So, because it's a government agency, the school district itself cannot promote or encourage religious messages."
Some Texas schools are facing legal situations where students are expressing their religious beliefs while representing the school, there are other officials from Arp High School who say as long as its student run, they really just don't see the problem.
Cheerleading sponsor, Donna Lowery said although they don't have run-through signs, "We have had signs in the past in our hallways that cheerleaders have made and put up." She also said students at Arp High School are given a moment of silence where they can choose to participate or not, but they do respect each other. She also told KETK that Texas has regulations regarding religious literature if it enhances a student's curriculum and she believes this issue pertains to that.
Naturally, public schools have different rules than private schools.
We also sat down with the athletic director from Grace Community School who says people should respect each other's beliefs.
Devin Delaughter, said, "I don't feel like people should be forced to participate in a moment of silence or prayer, but I also don't feel like folks should be denied the opportunity to include their God or their faith in an aspect of their life."
Tyler ISD also sent a statement on their policies regarding this matter. Media Communications director, Laura Jackson said,
"Tyler ISD allows students to express their religious views in their personal areas as well as on posters or banners they create for sporting events or extracurricular activities. The District, however, does not provide or create materials displaying religious views."