TODAY   |  October 06, 2012

Small town squad takes on big-time issues

Cheerleaders in Texas have sparked a controversy after fighting to use Bible verses on the banners that football players run through before each game. One cheerleader said, “We just wanted to make a run-through sign that was encouraging to the boys and honorable to God." NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> now to texas, where a small town is rallying behind high school cheerleaders. the squad wants to continue displaying bible verses on banners at football games and their fight has made its way to court.

>> reporter: a typical friday night in smoall town texas, as the lions seek another win. in a state where football is almost religion, the cheerleaders decided this season to paint bible verses on those banners that players run through before each game.

>> we just wanted to make a run-through sign that was encouraging to the boys and honorable to god.

>> reporter: instead, it ignited a debate over religious expression in public schools . this week, a judge issued a temporary ruling in favor of the cheerleaders. who along with their parents filed suit after the school district tried to ban their biblical signs.

>> students have constitutional rights . this is the students' private religious speech, so the school district has no right to censor it.

>> reporter: district officials reacted after being contacted by an atheist group. but many of the 2200 residents rallied around the cheerleaders.

>> it makes me real proud. proud of our kids, proud that they're willing to stand up, that they believe in god.

>> reporter: a facebook support group boasts nearly 50,000 members and the texas attorney general weighed in. writing that the signs are constitutional because they are public displace of religion, are voluntary expressions of the students' believes and are not attribute able to the school district . even the school superintendent was sympathetic to the pep squad .

>> i commend them for their boldness, but as a school democratic, we're going to continue to follow the law.

>> reporter: the judge is expected to revisit the case in several weeks, but for now, the bible banners are here to stay. signs of faith under the friday night lights.

>>> still ahead as we continue here on a saturday morning, are pop stars chris brown and rihanna back together? why