ORLANDO, Fla. – As Florida students returned to school this month, they will see new signs displaying the motto “In God We Trust,” after Gov., Rick Scott signed into law legislation requiring all public schools display the motto.
The House bill was sponsored by Rep. Kim Daniels, a Jacksonville Democrat who said she thought Florida needed the legislation after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February. Daniels leads a Christian ministry.
Daniels told News 6 she sponsored the bill because it promotes the motto helps to promote positivity in schools.
“God is positive. Our children need all that they can get to escape what’s going on in this generation, and in the world, and in our schools today," Daniels said. “To see something that is motivating, and something that is encouraging and positive."
Under the new law, signed by Scott in March, “In God We Trust” must be on display in all Florida schools in “a conspicuous place.” However, the motto was already on display at public schools, under a Florida law already in place requiring schools to fly the state flag, which features “In God We Trust.”
The new law went into effect July 1.
"I think it’s a great thing personally," said grandparent Beth Pennacchia. "I just think it’s a good thing for kids to grow up and to know In God We Trust."
Lake County School District officials told News 6 they complied with the new mandate by hanging a framed Florida seal near school front lobbies and school district offices.
Seminole and Orange County spokespersons said both district plan to display the motto in a frame at all schools once the frames come in.
“I don’t think they should have ever taken it out” said Lake County parent Crystal King. “I want my kids to believe in Christ, I’ve raised them in church.”
The motto resurgence is part of a movement in other states passing laws requiring government buildings and schools to put up such displays.
Lawmakers approved similar legislation in Tennessee this spring that requires the motto's prominent display inside all public schools. Arkansas and South Carolina have also considered passing similar measures, reported theHill.com.
Al.com reported that state lawmakers in Alabama recently approved similar legislation to display “In God We Trust” on public property and the motto could soon become more common at Alabama schools.