According to a new bill passed by the Florida House, every administrative building in every school in the state should be required to prominently display a sign or plaque that reads “In God We Trust.”
The bill was approved by a 97-10 vote.
Kimberly Daniels, a Democrat who sponsored the bill, cited the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week after 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz stormed the school with an AR-15 and began shooting.
According to Daniels, God is the “light” and “our schools need light in them like never before.”
The bill is being met with criticism, with many saying that it’s just another example of politicians replacing meaningful action with ‘thoughts and prayers.’ Politicians say the bill will help students understand the history of the state’s motto, which features “In God We Trust” on its seal.
Writing for the Progressive Secular Humanist, Michael Stone says that forcing schools to display such a message is a “futile gesture that ultimately demeans and disparages the U.S. Constitution, the separation of church and state, and the secular values upon which this nation was built.”
The bill got some pushback by Daniels’ Democratic colleague Rep. Carlos G. Smith, who said that it’s a clear violation of church-state separation.
“Let’s keep a clear separation between church + state,” Smith tweeted on Wednesday. “Forcing our public schools to post “In God We Trust” in a conspicuous place is inappropriate. I don’t care if it was a Democrat who sponsor the bill. I vote based on core values, not party lines.”
Let’s keep a clear separation between church + state. Forcing our public schools to post “In God We Trust” in a conspicuous place is inappropriate. I don’t care if it was a Democrat who sponsor the bill. I vote based on core values, not party lines. I vote NO on HB 839. #sayfie
— Rep. Carlos G Smith (@CarlosGSmith) February 21, 2018
The bill has yet to pass the Florida legislature. We’ll update this story with any new developments.
Featured image via Freeport News Network