PLANO, TX—It all started when a Plano elementary school student was not allowed to pass out Candy Cane pens at school because religious messages were included.
It's a case that dates back six years ago. It's now being heard in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Back in 2005, student Jonathan Morgan said he wanted to pass something out without getting in trouble.
The Morgan family was speaking out about an incident two years earlier. The center of the controversy are candy cane pens with religious notes.
"Because this boy's pens had the card attached with a religious connotation, he was not allowed to bring it into the room; had to leave it in the hallway," said attorney Roger Byron.
It caused a fire storm of lawsuits between Plano ISD and parents.
"We don't want our child thinking that there is something dirty about Jesus or his faith," Jonathan's father Doug Morgan said in 2003.
The lawsuit originated at Thomas Elementary with just one family, but it has now spread to other families across the area. The basic message of lawsuit is students have the right to religious expression even in school.
Last year, a judge agreed the Plano ISD was within its right to limit religious expression through its school handbook. Families involved are now challenging that decision at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
As oral arguments are being heard in New Orleans, Plano residents are weighing in on whether religious expression should be allowed.
"If they believe in God and they want to share his faith that is okay to do because God's disciples went and spread the word, Emily Jinerson said.
But others feel differently.
"No one wants to be changed or anything, like everyone has their own views," Jasmine Anwar said. "You don't want anyone trying to change you."
A written opinion from the Appeals Court will be issued in a few months. The case could go to the U.S. Supreme court.