A new law in Texas requires public schools to post “In God We Trust” signs if they are donated by outside groups.
The law was sponsored by state Sen. Bryan Hughes, a Republican whose district includes 16 counties in eastern Texas. Hughes was also the sponsor of a controversial Texas law that outlaws abortion after six weeks and contains a complicated system for private enforcement.
The law requires that the “In God We Trust” signs be posted in a “conspicuous place” in public schools and that the posters be donated by private entities.
The Texas Tribune, an online news site, reported that several districts have already received posters. Several of them came from Patriot Mobile, a Texas-based cellphone company that donates a portion of its profits to right-wing political causes.
Advocates of church-state separation in Texas criticized the new law.
Carisa Lopez, a senior political director with the Texas Freedom Network (TFN), told The Texas Tribune that the law thrusts religion into public schools.
“Our Constitution guarantees the freedom from religion, and the state of Texas shouldn’t be making any religious requirements of our public schools,” Carisa Lopez, TFN’s senior political director, said in a statement. “It’s clear they know this crosses the line because they conveniently worded the law to find a loophole to make it happen.”