South Dakota Requires Schools to Display Religious Motto

South Park Elementary in Rapid City, S.D., has the motto stenciled on a wall, in time for the first day of school this year. (Adam Fondren/Rapid City Journal via AP)

by Bob Cronin

South Dakota students will return to “In God We Trust” displayed in their schools—”in a prominent location,” at least 12 inches by 12 inches.

A new state law requires that the motto be in place for the first day of school. “Some have plaques, others have it painted on the wall, maybe in a mural setting,” an official from a state school board advocacy group said, per CBS.

The law does not provide money for the addition, and Rapid City schools have stenciled it on walls, the Journal reports. A group of high school students was unable to win approval for a display that included Buddha, Yahweh and Allah as an alternate to the motto that they said favors Christianity.

Similar laws have passed or are under consideration in more than a dozen other states. “In God We Trust” has officially been the nation’s motto since 1956.

“Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and I’m sure that’s where the motto emanates from,” the state senator who sponsored the bill said, per the Washington Post. He said he sees the display as a reaffirmation of those principles.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation criticized the law, and the motto, which it called “inaccurate, exclusionary, and aimed at brainwashing American schoolchildren into believing that our nation is a theocracy.”

The group’s co-president said, per the AP, “Our position is that it’s a terrible violation of freedom of conscience to inflict a godly message on a captive audience of schoolchildren.” The ACLU said, “No student should feel pressured in public school to adopt certain religious beliefs.”

The advocacy group, Associated School Boards of South Dakota, didn’t take a stand on the law, and was only interested in protecting schools from lawsuits over the displays. Still, its executive director said, the motto could spark classroom discussions on issues such as: “What is patriotism about. What is Americanism about?”

Edited via Newser.

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Posted by on July 28, 2019. Filed under NEWS I FIND INTERESTING. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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3 Responses to South Dakota Requires Schools to Display Religious Motto

  1. Neil Bamforth Reply

    July 29, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Well it could be worse… They might have had em put ‘In Trump We Trust’ 😂😂🤣😂😂

    • Bill Formby Reply

      July 29, 2019 at 6:12 pm

      Very trus.

  2. Glenn Geist Reply

    July 30, 2019 at 9:17 am

    I don’t know what offends me more – the slap in the face to our secular constitution or the assumption that there is only one so we don’t have to name him. This has all come out of the 1950’s red scare intended to heap shame on those evil Commies for being atheists. It became an official motto in 56 I believe, after they turned the infamous “pledge” (written by a Commie) into a religious oath. Was this country ever great? OK, there was WW II and the moon thing, but otherwise I see only the bragging and braying of a Nation of narcissistic pigs.

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