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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has offered to help a Southeast Texas school district and its cheerleaders fight a challenge to putting Bible verses on high school football game banners.

Kountze Superintendent Kevin Weldon initially banned the signs after the Freedom From Religion Foundation complained. But a judge ordered that the banners continue to be allowed until a court hearing can be held next month.

In a letter to Weldon, Abbott said he was on solid legal ground by allowing the signs. He said his office was prepared to file a brief on the cheerleaders behalf if the Freedom From Religion Foundation sued.

The conservative Liberty Institute already is defending the cheerleaders, arguing that banning religious speech on student-made signs is discriminatory.

Kountze is 85 miles northeast of Houston.

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