National religious group delivers ultimatum to Mathis ISD against brothers banned from extracurricular activities

Cesar Gonzales was kicked off the Mathis Pirates football team for not cutting off his braid, which he keeps for religious reasons.

MATHIS – In May 2018, Cesar and Diego Gonzales’ family filed suit against the Mathis Independent School District for the children being banned from extracurricular activities unless they cut their hair.

Both boys have long braids that they refuse to cut due to their religious beliefs. 

Cesar has been banned for two years from playing football and Diego has been forbidden from participating in the student council, art and computer programming clubs.

Now, nationally recognized religious group, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, is stepping in with an ultimatum for the school district.

In a letter sent from the Becket Fund to all MISD school board members and  Superintendent Benny Hernandez, it reads, “We have won multiple cases in Texas and the Fifth Circuit under the laws at issue in your case, and we are undefeated in the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Although we are not currently representing the Gonzales family, we are nationally recognized experts in this area of the law, and we strongly urge you to settle this case and respect these students’ rights  ...

“If you do not reach a settlement by August 12, we are prepared to bring substantial additional resources to bear in this litigation.”

Read Thursday’s edition of The News of San Patricio for more on this story.