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Well there's a cheerleader controversy bubbling up includes taxes the cheerleaders are expressing their school spirit and -- at the same time.
But putting Bible -- on the banners that football players run through as they enter the field for the -- Some of them are being called on to stop now there are those -- Jack's joining us now -- this freedom fight.
Our Mike Johnson senior counsel at the liberty institute and Dan barker from the freedom from religion foundation our thanks to -- Thank you Shannon thanks for having a great -- wanna start with you the Childers of putting these verses on Netgear is at least one objection that we know love and a legal fight ensued what is the latest on the banners in -- -- Well the banners -- and we were able to obtain a temporary restraining order from a state district court judge down there and we have a big hearing.
This coming Thursday to make that temporary injunction more permanent look the law is very clear on this we have a quintessential example of student led student initiated private speech.
The Supreme Court said more than forty years ago in many courts have repeated ever sense.
The students and teachers do not shed their constitutional rights to free speech when they walk through the schoolhouse gate so whether you're -- -- the hallway between classes -- you happen to be on a football field.
You're still an American citizen and the laws still on your side you get to engage in free speech and that's what the court here is -- -- -- these cheerleaders are making up the theaters on their own and and on their own time there -- -- a school official directing them to do that.
What is your objection here.
Yes they do have free speech rights in this in this great country but there's a difference between free speech.
And governments between those cheerleaders are wearing the uniform when they are at an official public high school event.
They are not speaking for themselves -- -- representing the school which has a diversity of viewpoints there are non Christians there are Jews.
There are atheists in that school who feel excluded -- offended by this.
These Christian messages the school was should be commended for trying to control the speech of an official event.
They wouldn't allow this cheerleaders to say something racist or anti Semitic.
But what if the majority of the cheerleaders were atheistic -- Mike Johnson defend their freedom to put up the banner that says.
Stop praying there's no god you're gonna have to win this game on your own of course not when there at the event they are representing the school and the school itself as a form of government.
Must be neutral and include all viewpoints and not offend any viewpoints at that school.
Aren't I ask you both to be very quick has run an ad time I -- get a quick answer from both of you might -- -- school superintendent here said he did this he made this decision to take down evaders are banned them because of legal counsel he got.
Was it right or wrong.
It was wrong the school board's attorneys -- -- -- is Dan is they haven't said Texas State law and in under the First Amendment and state provisions that mirror that.
Students have free speech rights look one of -- the prices of free speech is -- sometimes you have to hear messages that you don't necessarily agree with but.
These students have a right we're gonna win this case we win 99% of the cases that we litigated liberty institute because the law is still on the side of priests be okay and will prevail here again.
I wanna bring -- and -- final question you quickly get half are you willing to fight this case.
Well right now we're not taking the case that if we have to we would soon as well.
To guarantee that the government stays neutral that that is not free speech there are many legal cases in the school is right to limit.
Certain speech within official functions and there are many Supreme Court cases such as the Santa -- decision which was also student led student chosen which the Supreme Court said was illegal.
Because it was viewed as an official government -- we would soon if it came to that but we're waiting to see what happens in the student's lawsuit well I have a feeling of both and -- could go live easily distinguished.
Much further but at the end barker my -- and we thank you both for weighing in today on today's freedom fight.
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