Bring It On (again!)
Last week I filed an amicus brief at the Texas Supreme Court in the Kountze cheerleader case (Kountze Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Matthews, 2017 WL 4319908 (Tex.App.—Beaumont 2017) (on appeal, Case No. 17-0988), on behalf of the Texas Association of School Board’s Legal Assistance Fund (“TASB-LAF”), supporting the school district’s request that the Texas Supreme Court take jurisdiction over the appeal (like the U.S. Supreme Court, the Texas Supreme Court decides which cases it wants to hear). A copy of the Brief can be found here: TASB-LAF Amicus Brief
To me, this case is not about the merits of the students’ speech (Bible verses on run-through banners at the high school football game). This case should turn on the school’s legitimate ability to decide what speech its official student representatives say to the community on behalf of the school. These are not students sitting in the stands holding up signs that everyone would know is their personal speech – these are students, dressed in a Kountze cheerleader uniform, at a Kountze football game, held at Kountze Stadium, holding a banner for the Kountze football players to run through, who are only there because they were selected by Kountze High School to be an official Kountze High School cheerleaders. Would anyone really challenge the school’s ability to tell the cheerleaders that they couldn’t put “Johnny, Will You Go To Homecoming With Me?” on one of the run-through banners?
Yesterday the Texas Supreme Court asked the students’ attorneys to file a response to the Petition for Review, which is at least a sign that the Court is taking this appeal seriously. So stay tuned – I will post more about this appeal as it happens!