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New Florida Law: "In God We Trust" Must Be Placed in All Public Schools.

Public schools in Florida must now display the state motto "In God We Trust," per provisions of a state law passed in March and now brought to full effect with the opening of the new academic year.

Title XLVIII, Chapter 1003 of the state law has been amended to read: "Each district school board shall adopt rules to require, in all of the schools of the district and in each building used by the district school board, the display of the [Florida state] motto, 'In God We Trust'... in a conspicuous place."

Local media reports that the state government has in at least a few cases e-mailed signs with the motto printed on them for use by the school districts in their schools and other district buildings. Other school districts around the state report having been given signs bearing the legally required motto.

In a statement regarding the recently enacted law, the Freedom From Religion Foundation called the Constitution as a witness for its claims: "These godly postings exclude and alienate the one-in-five students in our public schools who do not believe in god. And they're meant to," the foundation's statement reads. "These laws are not about patriotism, they're about turning believers into insiders, and nonbelievers into outsiders. There's nothing patriotic in undermining our nation's secular Constitution."

Most of the opposition to posting the motto in public-school buildings has invoked the First Amendment, specifically that amendment's provision prohibiting the establishment of religion. But the First Amendment most certainly does not prohibit the state of Florida from requiring schools to post a plaque reading "In God We Trust."

The First Amendment reads, in relevant part, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." This language not only keeps Congress out of the business of establishing a national religion, but it places a wall of separation, if you will, between the states and their establishment of religion and the interference of the federal government.

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Title Annotation:Inside Track
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Sep 17, 2018
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