Kountze cheerleaders get 14-day extension of TRO - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Kountze cheerleaders get 14-day extension of temporary restraining order

Posted: Updated:

Cheerleaders in Kountze who want the right to continue to display signs with scriptures, and opponents who say this crosses the bounds between church and state, have a judge's decision on the matter, for now.

356th District Court Judge Steve Thomas Thursday denied the cheerleaders a temporary injunction, but instead granted a 14-day extension of a temporary restraining order.

The controversy began when the cheerleading squad at Kountze High School was told it had to stop displaying the banners because the district received a complaint. The complaint was lodged by Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, who said it was acting on behalf of someone who wished to remain anonymous.

Acting on legal advice, school superintendent Kevin Weldon told the cheerleaders the banners had to go.

Some of the cheerleaders hired attorney David Starnes who agreed to help them fight a legal battle to keep the signs. Starnes maintains the girls were simply exercising their freedom of speech.

Starnes says the girls came up with the idea on their own, and no one from the district headed up the effort.

A judge granted some of the cheerleaders a temporary restraining order that gave them a 2-week approval to display the signs until both sides could meet in court. 

Under the Friday night lights they sport black and red uniforms but Thursday, Kountze Cheerleaders were dressed for business. 
   
After being in court for more than six hours their signs of support for Kountze football players will continue for now. 

"I think I might cry again, maybe. But I think it will be a happy moment," Kountze Cheerleader Kieara Moffett said.

Moffat testified Thursday along with cheer mate Macy Matthews and cheer sponsor Beth Richardson.

 Tom Brandt representing Kountze I.S.D. questioned the sponsor about the cheer constitution which deems her a district employee who instructs the girls. 

 But the sponsor and the girls testified saying they loosely follow the cheer constitution allowing the cheerleaders instead to make decisions. 

"We're not always going to have parents behind us. In 2 years they're not going to hold our hands and tell us what to do. I feel it's necessary we learn to stand on our own," Moffett said. 

Superintendent Weldon's testimony may have been a game changer in the girls fight. 

"He admitted that they discriminated against the girls religious expression. He admitted they censored their speech. All of which helps our case," Attorney David Starnes said. 

"I'll tell you this I'm a Christian, I was in a rock and a hard spot," Superintendent Weldon said to a group of reporters Thursday. 

Superintendent Weldon told us he respects the cheerleaders and admitted in court getting bad legal advice when the controversy began in September. 

"I commend them for their boldness and conviction but as a school district we will continue to follow the law," he said. 

While not technically a win, Thursday's Temporary Restraining Order Extension is being considered a step in the right direction for the cheerleaders.

"I know God has it in his hands," Moffett said. 



 

  • Passion Play Draws Hundreds of Spectators to Cole Park

    Passion Play Draws Hundreds of Spectators to Cole Park

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:25 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:25:28 GMT
    Many of you started the day watching the 72nd annual Passion Play at the Cole Park. Whether it's a family tradition, or your first time, the production tells the story of the meaning of Easter. The crowd got to witness a beautiful sunrise Sunday morning. The Passion Play depicts the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Dozens of actors, along with music, and costumes helped create an over powering experience for those in attendance. John Siotos who attended the Passion Play told 3...More >>
    Many of you started the day watching the 72nd annual Passion Play at the Cole Park. Whether it's a family tradition, or your first time, the production tells the story of the meaning of Easter. The crowd got to witness a beautiful sunrise Sunday morning. The Passion Play depicts the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Dozens of actors, along with music, and costumes helped create an over powering experience for those in attendance. John Siotos who attended the Passion Play told 3...More >>
  • Man Who Shot Cop in Fredericksburg In Jail After Chase

    Man Who Shot Cop in Fredericksburg In Jail After Chase

    Sunday, April 20 2014 7:15 PM EDT2014-04-20 23:15:13 GMT
    A suspect accused of shooting a Fredericksburg police officer is in custody in San Antonio after leading police on a chase spanning several counties.It started in Fredericksburg around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.According to the Fredericksburg Police Department, an officer was making a routine traffic stop when the 31-year-old Robert Adrian Rendon fired several shots at him from inside the car.The officer was hit twice, once in the stomach and once in the neck.He was able to radio for help and was ta...More >>
    A suspect accused of shooting a Fredericksburg police officer is in custody in San Antonio after leading police on a chase spanning several counties.It started in Fredericksburg around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.According to the Fredericksburg Police Department, an officer was making a routine traffic stop when the 31-year-old Robert Adrian Rendon fired several shots at him from inside the car.The officer was hit twice, once in the stomach and once in the neck.He was able to radio for help and was ta...More >>
  • With Sales Now Legal, Cannabis Lovers Take Denver's 420 Weekend To New Highs

    With Sales Now Legal, Cannabis Lovers Take Denver's 420 Weekend To New Highs

    DENVER, Colorado (CNN) -- Coming to the Mile High City this weekend was the perfect 65th birthday present for Karen Stevenson. She and her husband drove out of the Bible Belt to experience, for the first time, what it's like to buy and smoke weed legally. She wore a T-shirt featuring an image of María Sabina, a late-Mexican shaman, puffing on a joint -- a shirt that, until this day, she never dared to wear outside her Cape Girardeau, Missouri, home. "It's kind of like being a part of history...More >>
    DENVER, Colorado (CNN) -- Coming to the Mile High City this weekend was the perfect 65th birthday present for Karen Stevenson. She and her husband drove out of the Bible Belt to experience, for the first time, what it's like to buy and smoke weed legally. She wore a T-shirt featuring an image of María Sabina, a late-Mexican shaman, puffing on a joint -- a shirt that, until this day, she never dared to wear outside her Cape Girardeau, Missouri, home. "It's kind of like being a part of history...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KIII. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.