‘In God We Trust’ Display in Public Schools
If a Senate bill gets approval from the House and is signed by Governor Jim Justice, public schools, colleges, and universities in the state will be mandated to display the national motto, “In God We Trust”.
Senate Bill 251 has already passed the Senate with a 32-0 vote and is expected to pass in the House. Mercer County Republicans, Delegates Marty Gearheart, Dr. Joe Ellington, and Doug Smith, are likely to vote in favor of the bill.
Gearheart declared that he finds no reason to oppose the bill and will likely vote for it. Ellington acknowledged that he hasn’t read the bill yet, but expressed no opposition to it.
The bill requires public schools and institutions of higher education to display a durable poster or framed copy of the national motto, “In God We Trust” in a conspicuous place in each building.
The national motto, “In God We Trust,” must be displayed in a conspicuous place in each building of public schools, colleges, and universities if a Senate bill passes through the House and gets signed by Gov. Jim Justice. The display must feature representations of the US and state flags centered under the motto and cannot depict anything other than these representations. It must be donated or purchased through private donations.
State Senator Mike Azinger
The bill was introduced by state Senator Mike Azinger, a Republican from Wood County. He explained his reasoning when introducing the bill, stating that he hopes children who face tough times at home will see the motto and find hope in God.
Several states, including Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Dakota, Utah, and Virginia, have passed similar laws, and Mississippi was the first state to do so in 2001. Some states give schools the option to display the motto, but it is not mandatory.
Federal courts have consistently upheld the right to display the motto, stating that it does not promote one religion over another and does not violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. “In God We Trust” became the official national motto of the US on July 30, 1956, after President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a law making it so. In 1955, a joint resolution was passed by Congress and signed by Eisenhower to place the phrase on American currency.