Bill would require display of 'In God We Trust' in public schools

- “In God We Trust” - It's printed on our money, it's the Florida state motto, and it's on the Florida flag.

Now, state lawmakers are considering a law that would require the phrase to be displayed in every public school.

House Bill 839 would require school boards to adopt rules ensuring the motto “In God We Trust” and have it prominently displayed in each school.

But not everyone is okay with this idea and opinions on both sides are strong.

State Rep. Kimberly Daniels, (D) Jacksonville, is the main sponsor of the bill.

The Democrat calls the phrase a foundation of the state and country. She wants students to be exposed to it and learn about it.

"Our country was founded with these principles, and we’ve allowed it to get away because of people who don’t believe in that and want to force their own agendas," Steve Weston said.

People against the idea point to court rulings banning schools from promoting religion.

They say displaying “In God We Trust” could put pressure on students who might not all believe in God.

"While I respect everyone’s right to a religion and their beliefs, it’s important that school children are not forced to adopt religion, and that is part of the reason for going to public schools," said Marie Parmer of Tampa. "I think this bill is ill-advised. The state of Florida has a lot of very serious issues that the state is facing that the legislature should be spending their time on."

The ACLU tells FOX 13 News leaders are keeping an eye on the bill.

Generally, the organization does not support entangling religion with public education, but would not officially comment on the proposed law.

"since the very beginning, even before our nation was created, we have had the recognition that religious freedom is why people came to this country.  They felt so strongly, and I certainly think it's a good idea," said State Rep. Matt Caldwell, (R) North Fort Myers.

The bill now heads to the House Education Committee. An identical version has yet to be heard in the Senate.

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