When public school students in Louisiana go back to school later this month, they will be greeted with “In God We Trust” signs in every school.
ABC News reports a bill signed into law by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards in May 2018 requires the state’s public schools to display the motto “in each building it uses and in each school under its jurisdiction” by the 2019 – 2020 school year.
The new law gives the local school board the authority on how the four words are displayed with the minimum being just the phrase on a paper sign.
The legislation also requires that students be educated about the US flag and patriotic customs by the fifth grade and about the history of “In God We Trust” as America’s national motto in their social studies classes.
“This is our national motto. It’s also on our currency. So I think it’s really important that we ensure that young people understand the patriotic history of our country and how it was founded and its purpose,” Democrat state Senator Regina Ashford Barrow said while discussing the bill in the Louisiana Senate chamber in April of 2018.
The bill passed 33-0 in the State Senate and a 93-0 vote in the House.
The motto was first placed on US coins “largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War,” and appeared for the first time on the 1864 two-cent coin, according to the US Department of the Treasury.
A federal law passed in July 1956 declared “In God We Trust” as the national motto of the United States.
Other states are also requiring “In God We Trust” signs to be placed in their schools.
Public school students in South Dakota will also see the phrase in their school buildings. Republican Gov. Kristi Noem signed a similar law passed in her state and it went into effect in July.
Kentucky will also require all public elementary and high schools to display the motto in a prominent location in the school, according to legislation signed into law by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in March.