'In God We Trust' now to be displayed in every public school classroom in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards signed into law a bill that would require the nation's motto "In God We Trust" to be in every classroom, in every public school in Louisiana.
Previously, the motto was required to be somewhere in the school building. But State Representative Dodie Horton took that a step further.
"At such a time like this, it would be a really wonderful thing for a child, no telling where they come from, to look up and say 'you know what, this nation trusts in God, Maybe there is one,'" Horton said in committee.
The law requires the national motto on a poster that is at least eleven by fourteen inches, in easily readable font. The school is not required to pay for the poster. They can pay for it, or the poster can be donated.
WBRZ reached out to East Baton Rouge Public Schools about the law. A spokesman says the school system will follow state law.
Horton says the motto does not preach any specific religious message, and she believes it is a positive message for all children. But some activists question if this law would single some students out.
"Regardless of that minority, the majority, I think, would be very thankful," Horton said.
But some activists, like Chaz Stevens, disagree with the law, saying it violates separation of church and state.
"I don't care what you believe in. That's up to you, that is your right. But when you start to infringe on my rights, or the kids right in the classroom, I have a problem with that," Stevens told WBRZ.
To show his opposition, Stevens has created posters that say "In God We Trust" but in different languages, like Arabic.
He has sent posters like that to states like Florida and Texas who have passed similar laws. Stevens believes the new law in Louisiana could lead to more aggressive laws regarding religion in schools.
"What's the next step for Louisiana after you do this? Is it the 10 commandments like Texas?" Stevens said.
WBRZ reached out to the Bishop of Baton Rouge Michael Duca, as well as the Louisiana ACLU. Neither gave a comment.
The law is expected to be in effect Aug. 1.
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