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National Motto ‘In God We Trust’ to be displayed at parish schools

Example of National Motto banner to be displayed in parish schools.

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

“In God We Trust” will be visible in all Bossier schools next year after a recent school board vote.

The Bossier Parish School Board voted at its Sept. 20 meeting to approve a measure that will allow displaying the National Motto in parish schools.

The display is Required by Act 410 of the 2018 Louisiana Legislature. Louisiana’s senators unanimously voted in favor of Senate Bill 224 on April 11, that would require public school districts to display the national motto of “In God We Trust” at every building under a district’s jurisdiction.

Public schools must display The National Motto “In God We Trust” beginning in 2019 after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Bill 224 in May of this year, requiring the signage.

Bossier Parish School Superintendent, Scott Smith said, “The Bossier Parish School Board sent a strong message of support, voting unanimously to approve the display of the National Motto in our schools and buildings as required by Act 410 of the 2018 Louisiana Legislature. Soon, the public will see the nation’s motto, ‘In God We Trust,’ prominently displayed throughout Bossier Schools as required by state law.”

The nature of the display is at the discretion of the schools and to the extent that all schools choose to use paper signs, only minimal costs would be incurred.

Senate Bill 224 was introduced by Sen. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, and co-authored by Sen. Barrow Peacock, R-Bossier City, and Sen. John Milkovich, D-Shreveport.

With the ongoing lawsuit against Americans United for Separation of Church and State that says the teachers are proselytizing Christianity in schools, it could be a controversial topic.

But it shouldn’t be, said Sen. Peacock.

“In God We Trust is a motto for our country and we print it on our money. It is something that has been in our country since the 1700s. How do you interpret that versus the issues that have been going on here in Bossier with the separation of church and state? It’s not advocating church. It’s just saying ‘In God We Trust,” said Sen. Barrow Peacock.

“I think for all of our schools to have that motto prominently displayed, in my opinion, is a good thing for our children to see,” he added.

In May of this year, Sen. Regina Barrow told USA Today Network, “We’re not pushing God on anybody; we’re incorporating it as part of the history of our nation,” she said.

The 84th Congress passed a joint resolution declaring “In God We Trust” the national motto of the United States in 1956 without debate. It was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.