Public K-12 schools in the Mountaineer state may soon be required to show the official motto of the United States in every school building: “In God We Trust”.
This according to a bill introduced by a Republican state Senator in West Virginia on Monday, which passed in the Senate and now goes to the state’s House. If it succeeds there, it will go to the Governor’s desk.
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The motto would need to be shown in a place of real visibility in the schools, and the display would need to include an image of the American flag and the West Virginia state flag too.
States like Texas and Kentucky have already passed similar laws, in what is making for a reversal of the trend where “God” had been increasingly marginalized by the country’s education institutions.
The motto “In God We Trust” first came to be during the Civil War, when Union supporters used it to boost morale by confirming a sense of spiritual and moral high ground. The phrase started appearing on Union coinage in 1864, and was put on paper currency in 1957 after a law signed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1955.
The Republican Senator, Mike Azinger, said he wants kids to know it is okay to say “God” in school, especially for the kids who have tough home lives:
“We know there’s a lot of kids that have problems at home, tough times at home that we don’t know anything about,” he said on the Senate floor, “Maybe they’ll look up one day and say, ‘In God We Trust’ and know they can put their hope in God.”.
West Virginia is one of the reddest states in America, with a Republican supermajority in the state’s legislature and a Republican Governor, despite it’s close proximity to Washington DC.