Texas Attorney General Intervenes On Behalf Of Kountze Cheerleaders

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says the state will help a group of cheerleaders fighting for the right to display religious verses at high school football games. A judge in Hardin County, about 90 miles northeast of Houston, will hold a hearing on the issue later today.

The cheerleaders at Kountze High School have filed a lawsuit against the local school district, which recently told them they couldn't write Bible verses on banners at football games. An athiest group from Wisconsin had threatened the district with legal action if the squad continued to display the verses.

Now Attorney Greg Abbott says he's filed a motion to intervene and will back the cheerleaders in the court fight.

"There's a reality here and that is that the First Amendment does not demand hostility toward religion, nor does it demand silence on the part of students in this state or in this country. It guarantees freedom of expression that these students were engaging in."

Abbott says the cheerleaders were using their own materials for the banners. Governor Rick Perry says he thinks the squad should be commended. 

"These students, or anyone, for that matter, who's expressing their faith, they should be celebrated from my perspective. In this day and age of instant gratification, this me-first culture that we see all too often, these young people are thinking about a world larger then themselves."

Kountze has about 2,000 residents and only one high school. The judge in Hardin county could issue a temporary injuction that would allow the cheerleaders to continue to display the verses while the case is pending.