Officials have stated that every public school in Florida needs to display “In God We Trust” in a “conspicuous place.” The requirement, which passed the House, had looked dead in the Senate, but then was added to a separate bill. It was then that the lengthy and controversial education bill, HB 7055, was approved by both chambers. The bill was signed in March by Gov. Rick Scott and was part of the nations’ first ever private school voucher program for bullied students.
Under Section 1, Subsection 4, the Bill states,
“Each district school board shall adopt rules to 14 require, in all of the schools of the district and in each 15 building used by the district school board, the display of the 16 state motto, “In God We Trust,” designated under s. 15.0301, in 17 a conspicuous place. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.”
The measure was sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Jacksonville, who currently runs a Christian Ministry. She described how the motto is inscribed on halls in the great capital and is inked on our currency, which is why it should be displayed, so children can be exposed and educated on the motto. She also argued how the bill is a part of the country’s’ founding principles, which is why something “great should not be hidden.”
The motto has been a part of Florida’s’ state seal since 1868 and on the state’s flag since 1900, but according to the Florida Department of State, it has only been the state motto since 2006. Several parents and education advocacy groups have stated they are against the sign after Daniel announced there would be a cost for school districts to display the motto. As of now, there is no estimate on the cost.