Town unites over sign ban

Run-through signs with religious messages banned


KOUNTZE, Texas – Administrators at a southeast Texas school district have banned run-through banners at football games if they display religious messages.

The Kountze I.S.D. superintendent made the decision after receiving a complaint about one sign with a Bible verse that read, "I can do all things though Christ which strengthens me."

Kountze cheerleaders say the idea for banners with scriptures from the bible came up at cheer camp. The idea of came from Meagan Tantillo and was backed by her cheer mates.

"Coaches preach devotionals before games. We wanted to show our support for our boys," Tantillo said.

In a town of just more than 2,000 people, the signs are the talk of the town.

Someone asked the superintendent to remove the messages from the run-through banners at the football games. No one knows who asked the superintendent but he says he was reluctant to do so.

In a statement, Superintendent Kevin Weldon said, "I commend them for what they stand for. But I called legal counsel and even though it's led by students, it should not be allowed to go on."

Now many are standing behind the cheerleaders including the football players who run through the banner.

"We aren't backing down," Tantillo said.

The cheerleaders say they chose Christian messages to break away from the stereotypical signs that say "Claw the Tigers" or "Scalp the Indians." They say they wanted inspiring and uplifting messages instead.