Lone complaint leads to ban on inspirational banners in Georgia high school
Please contact Superintendent Reese today and encourage her to take a firm stand on behalf of freedom of speech.
October 1, 2009
Cheerleaders at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in Georgia have for many years created inspirational banners for home football games, the kind of banners players burst through as they come on to the field.
Particularly since 9/11, the messages on the banners have often been verses from Scripture, such as "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
But based on one single verbal complaint from a local resident, the Bible has been banned from pregame banners. Once again the tyranny of the minority – in this case a minority of one – has threatened both religious liberty and freedom of speech.
The mayor strongly supports the tradition and is disturbed that anyone would launch a complaint. After all, he says, "If it's offensive to anyone, let them go watch another football game. Nobody's forced to come there and nobody’s forced to read the signs."
A huge majority in the community also supports the longstanding practice. On just four hours notice, 1,600 people showed up at the polo grounds for a rally of support on Wednesday night.
Your AFA has been in contact with our friends at pro-freedom First Amendment law firms, and are confident that the school district will have outstanding legal counsel if officials choose to craft a response that will preserve this uniquely American tradition.
Catoosa County Schools Superintendent Denia Reese supports the banner tradition and reads the Bible daily herself, but wants to avoid an expensive lawsuit.