(The Hill) — A new law in Louisiana went into effect Tuesday requiring public schools in the state to display the nation’s official motto, “In God We Trust,” in each classroom.
The law, titled H.B. 8, requires the national motto to be displayed “on a poster or framed document that is at least 11 inches by 14 inches” in each classroom. The law states the motto must be the “central focus” of the poster or framed document and be printed in “large, easily readable font.”
Signed by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards in June, the law goes slightly further than its previous version, passed in 2018, which only required the motto to be in the school buildings, not each classroom. Public schools will not be required to use funds to purchase these displays and can use donated funds or accept donated displays, according to the law.
The law follows a series of decisions from other Southern states to require that the motto be displayed, including in Florida, South Carolina and Arkansas. In West Virginia, a mandate for the motto advanced in the state Senate earlier this year but never made it through the House.
Both South Dakota and Tennessee have similar mandates in place that drew pushback from some parents who argued it excludes students who do not believe in the Christian God.
The Hill reached out to Bel Edwards and state Rep. Dodie Horton (R), the bill’s author, for comment.