"In God We Trust" displayed in Tennessee public schools - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

SCHOOL PATROL

"In God We Trust" displayed in Tennessee public schools

Posted: Aug 08, 2018 4:37 PM Updated:
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

A new law requires the nation's motto "In God We Trust" to be displayed in every Tennessee public school.

According to the law, the motto can be displayed in anything from artwork done by students, pictures, or a plaque.

"Constitution, the flag, the back of the dollar bill with the motto on that,” Hamilton County schools spokesperson Tim Hensley said about the picture that will be displayed in their schools.  

The law requires schools to display the nation's motto in a “prominent place,” like a gym, cafeteria, or lobby.

Hamilton County plans to put it in each school's front office. The picture Hamilton County used incorporates the motto by using the dollar bill.

"Trying to put together that it was a part of our national heritage as well,” Hensley explained, “With the flag, and the constitution, and the statue of liberty all kind of melting together. So it's not just words up there. There's an understanding of where it all comes from."

While some people said displaying the motto is a good thing, not everyone agrees.

A representative with the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a statement to Channel 3 saying:

“The Freedom From Religion Foundation opposes the new law to ‘prominently display’ the words ‘In God We Trust” in all public schools.

The sponsor’s assertion that ‘In God We Trust’ is part of our founding documents is false. The framers wisely adopted a godless constitution, whose only references to religion are exclusionary. A committee of Jefferson, Adams and Franklin chose ‘E Pluribus Unum’ [From many, one] as our national motto, celebrating diversity. The godly motto was belatedly adopted in the 1950s at the height of the Red Scare, and should be jettisoned. A quarter of the population today is nonreligious, and their children should not be made to feel that piety is a prerequisite for patriotism or good citizenship. FFRF is interested in hearing from parents who are offended by this intrusive law.”

Some people tell Channel 3 religious or not, they believe it's a teaching tool.

"Whether you believe it or not, it's got good morals, it teaches good morals,” Aid Barry Ritchie, “It teaches you rules to live by."

Hensley said the school system did get a few phone calls from concerned parents when the law was passed, but say they are legally required to display the motto.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.

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David Carroll covers education news and issues at schools across the Tennessee Valley.

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