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New Law for Texas Public Schools Involves 'In God We Trust'

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A law passed in Texas now requires the state’s public schools to put up “In God We Trust” signs if they are donated or purchased from private donors.

Senate Bill 797 states that public schools 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.'”

Still, the bill explains that it 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 listed in Subdivision (1).”

Texas Rep. Tom Oliverson, who co-authored the legislation, spoke with KHOU about the bill.

“I think it reminds us that we are a nation that believes in a power greater than ourselves,” Oliverson said.

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Aly Fitzpatrick, a parent, expressed her concerns with the requirement.

“The point is we are America, and not everyone does believe in the same God, so telling children that is very confusing,” Fitzpatrick said.

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The law comes a little more than a week after a school board in North Dakota reported that it is no longer saying the Pledge of Allegiance at meetings as members took issue with the word “God” in the pledge, as IJR reported.

“Given that the word ‘God’ in the text of the Pledge of Allegiance is capitalized,” board member Seth Holden said.

He added, “The text is clearly referring to the Judeo-Christian god and therefore, it does not include any other face such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, all of which are practiced by our staff and students at FPS.”

According to Holden, the pledge is a “non-inclusionary act.”

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