UPDATE: A judge on Thursday ruled that the "Charlie Brown Christmas" poster that featured a biblical passage can be returned to display on a Killeen ISD staff member's door. Read more about it here.
A full version of our previous reporting continues below:
KILLEEN, Texas — Attorney Gen. Ken Paxton intervened into a lawsuit Thursday afternoon, filed on behalf of nurse’s aide Dedra Shannon against the Killeen Independent School District over its decision to take down Shannon’s Christmas decoration.
The Killeen school board is already in the process of re-examining its holiday decoration policies after the incident involving a Christmas display that included a Bible verse from a popular holiday television special.
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior,” a school staffer in Killeen had put up a poster that included the Bible verse as recited by Linus from "A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
But the district decided to stand by its decision to remove the portion of the poster that cited the verse, despite pushback from one politician and a religious rights group.
Killeen administrators argue school employees are not allowed to impose their personal beliefs on students.
But Attorney Gen. Ken Paxton said in a statement that the so-called Merry Christmas law passed in 2013 means schools can't "silence a Biblical reference to Christmas" and that the gesture is "an attack on religious liberty and a violation of the First Amendment and state law."
Religious rights group Texas Values is leading the fight against Killeen ISD.
"There definitely has been a concerted effort for many years now to try to marginalize Christmas," said David Walls of Texas Values. "There's absolutely nothing in federal or state law that requires this kind of Christmas display to come down and we believe it shouldn't have been taken down."
"I am concerned our religious liberties are being infringed on every day, as is our freedom of speech," said Senator-elect Dr. Dawn Buckingham, who will be representing Killeen. "I believe Killeen ISD misinterpreted state law, and I agree with those who believe the poster should go back up immediately."
To read the full lawsuit, click here.