“In God We Trust” to Be Present in All South Dakota Public Schools
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The upcoming school year is just days away for some. While the focus is usually wrapped around classes and school supplies — this year is different. Four words — displayed in schools around the state — sparking a conversation around the country.
Governor Kristi Noem signed a law requiring the national motto “In God We Trust” to be displayed in every South Dakota public school starting this school year. The motto must be placed in a highly used location, like an entryway or cafeteria. This law has started a national debate about religion in schools and has received push back from some organizations – including the “Freedom From Religion Foundation.”
In Sioux Falls, public school officials say the controversy will not affect students’ education.
“I wouldn’t say its good or bad, and I wouldn’t give an argument on either side of this, other than I would say, that the “In God We Trust” is in our schools just like many other things are in our schools,” says Superintendent of Sioux Falls public schools Dr. Brian Maher.
Maher hopes that the signs will be able to give students a lesson…
“And the lesson is, we are part of a country, as a country we are part of a state, as a state we are part of a city, as a city we are part of a school district.”
Mahrer says the sign may not even be noticed by students, but regardless, the schools will remain accepting. He says sign or no sign, schools will have safe learning environments.
“Hopefully when you walk down the halls of our school, you see that we are welcoming of all peoples, all races, all nationalities, all ethnicities, all religions, and this is just part of that bigger picture.”
This new law is not only in South Dakota. It is in a growing number of states — including Louisiana and Kentucky.