October 2017 Church & State - October 2017

Ark. Requires Religious Motto In Public Schools

  AU admin

Public school students in Arkansas who returned to classes last month saw something new: signs reading “In God We Trust” in classrooms and school libraries.

The signs are the result of a new law in Arkansas that mandates that elementary and secondary schools must display a framed picture or poster of “In God We Trust” above an American flag in their libraries and classrooms. 

Supporters of the law said the move is acceptable since “In God We Trust” is the United States’ official motto and also appears on currency. (The law also requires that the motto be posted in all state-owned buildings.)

The news site arkansasmatters.com reported that school superintendents were reviewing the law, but most are expected to abide by it. The signs are being funded by voluntary contributions.

The U.S. Congress passed a law declaring “In God We Trust” the country’s official motto in 1956, and the measure was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Prior to that, the Latin phrase E Pluribus Unum (“Out of many, one”) had been serving as an unofficial motto.

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