By Lucia Suarez Sang, ,
Published January 25, 2018
It’s printed on the U.S. currency and it’s the Florida state motto.
Now, state lawmakers are considering a law that would require public schools to prominently display “In God We Trust.”
Democratic state Rep. Kimberly Daniels said her bill will be a lesson to children about the national and state motto, which is also printed on the state flag.
"You have to ask yourself, why would anyone not want a motto that is so positive for our children displayed?" Daniels said, according to News 6.
House Bill 839 received unanimous approval Tuesday from the House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee, getting praise from both Democrats and Republicans.
Republican Rep. Ralph Massullo said students should know about the state's history, and as part of that history, "we do trust in God."
Democratic Rep. Larry Lee said the nation was "built on God" and the bill is a great idea at a time when many young people aren't going to church.
Lee added, "We're taking God out of everything.”
However, not everyone was on board, with some saying that displaying “In God We Trust” could put pressure on students who might not believe in God.
“While I respect everyone’s right to a religion and their beliefs, it’s important that school children are not forced to adopt religion, and that is part of the reason for going to public schools,” Marie Parmer of Tampa told Fox 13. “I think this bill is ill-advised. The state of Florida has a lot of very serious issues that the state is facing that the legislature should be spending their time on.”
The American Civil Liberties Union told Fox 13 they are keep an eye on the bill.
The bill heads to the House Education Committee. Republican Sen. Keith Perry has filed an identical bill, but it has yet to be heard in the Senate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.