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KISD extends public comment deadline - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

KISD extends public comment deadline

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The issues of freedom of speech, religion and football are once again before the community of Kountze.

Tuesday, Kountze Independent School District board members gathered to hear comments from the public concerning the high school cheerleaders' use of Bible verses on banners at football games.

A judge gave the cheerleaders who created those banners a temporary injunction to continue until a June court date.

The school district says it banned the banners after it received legal pressure to do so by the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Of the 17 who signed up to speak at the school board meeting, 16 spoke in support of the cheerleaders use of the banners. One spoke in favor of the school district's ban on the banners. 

"We're called to share the word and feel it's being taken away. This is our speech, we weren't doing it to represent the school district," freshman Kountze Cheerleader Savannah Short said. 

"I think it's important to keep secularism in public schools. This is just the tip of the iceberg. If this is allowed here we're going to have religion in schools like they do in the middle east," Kountze graduate Lindsey Brackin said. 

The deadline for public input has been pushed back to March 8. The school district says once the deadline is up for submissions the board will take into account all opinions and formulate a school policy.

Kountze ISD's submission policy may change with Tuesday's decision. A link to the districts website will be posted to the left of this story with instructions on how you can submit your opinion to board members. 

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