Cullman County school board votes to display “In God We Trust” in schools

CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala - The Alabama State Legislature passed a law to allow schools to display the nation's motto "In God we Trust". Last week the Cullman County School Board passed a resolution mandating it be displayed at every school in the district.

For more than 50 years people have been able to see the words "In God We Trust" printed on paper money. Now they will also be able to see the motto displayed in the Cullman County School System.

"There shouldn't be religious lessons coming from it or anything like that. It's more about the heritage than anything," Superintendent Shane Barnette said.

He handed up a one-page history of the nation's motto at the school board meeting last week.

The resolutions says, "The nation's motto, "In God We Trust," shall be displayed in the front office of each school operated by the Cullman County Board of Education and any other area that is deemed appropriate by the Superintendent." It also gives teachers permission to display the motto in their classrooms.

"We're really behind our superintendent," Daystar Church founding pastor, Jerry Lawson said.

Lawson says he supports the school board's decision.

"There's a lot of faith here in our country and I think our schools reflect our people and our history."

But an attorney for the ACLU of Alabama sees it differently.

"Putting history aside this, I mean it says "In God We Trust," I think this does have to do with religion. I think this is a distraction," attorney for the ACLU of Alabama, Brock Boone said.

He also worries it could make students feel alienated.

"By the school board doing this, it sends a clear message that only students that believe in God, it says "In God We Trust", those only students that believe in God are welcome."

Superintendent Barnette says the district has always worked to make every student feel welcome and displaying the nation's motto will not change that.

Barnette is in the process of ordering plaques for the display. He isn't sure when they will be ready, so he doesn't have a timeline for when people will be able to see "In God We Trust" displayed in schools.

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