A West Virginia bill that passed the West Virginia Senate on Monday would require “In God We Trust” to be displayed in every public school building.
Senate Bill 251 passed on Monday with a vote of 32-0.
The bill was introduced by Republican Sen. Mike Azinger, who said he wants to give kids in schools something to look up to and let them know it’s OK to “say God” in school.
“We know there’s a lot of kids that have problems at home, tough times at home that we don’t know anything about,” Azinger said, speaking 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.”
The bill says ‘A public elementary or secondary school or a state institution of higher education must display in a conspicuous place in each building of the school or institution a durable poster or framed copy of the United States national motto, “In God We Trust”, if the poster or framed copy meets the requirements.’
Those requirements are that the poster or framed copy can be donated or purchased from private donations made available to the school or institution.
The poster or framed copy must also contain a representation of the United States flag centered under the national motto and a representation of the state flag; and may not depict any words, images, or other information other than the representations.
Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a law making “In God We Trust” the official U.S. national motto July 30, 1956, two years after pushing to have the phrase “under God” inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance.
“It was adopted during a time of disunity in America, at a time that unity was needed,” Azinger said Monday. “And I think that’s where we are in America in many ways.”
The bill will now advance to the House of Representatives.