West Palm Beach, Fla. — As students return to school this week in Florida, they will see something new: “In God We Trust.”
Gov. Scott signed a bill in March that requires all schools to display signs with the state motto in “a conspicuous place.”
The measure is part of the nation’s first ever private school voucher program for bullied students under a sweeping education bill signed into law Sunday by Gov. Rick Scott.
The state statute (1003.44) specifically says, “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 state motto, “In God We Trust,” designated under s. 15.0301, in a conspicuous place.
The measure was sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Jacksonville, who runs a Christian ministry, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“This motto is inscribed on the halls of this great capitol and inked on our currency, and it should be displayed so that our children will be exposed and educated on this great motto, which is a part of this country’s foundation,” she said when a House committee took up her bill (HB 839). “Something so great should not be hidden.”
“In God We Trust” has been part of Florida’s state seal since 1868 and on the state flag since 1900, but has been the state motto only since 2006, according to the Florida Department of State.
Locally, St. Lucie Public Schools has provided all schools with a front office poster “to meet the expectations of this statute,” according to Kerry Padrick, the district’s chief communications officer.
The Palm Beach County School District emailed all principals two signs, telling them to print one and post in a conspicuous place in each of their school buildings.
WPTV has reached out to all five local school districts and will update this story when we receive their responses.