A bill would require the display of the state motto ‘In God We Trust’ in every Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade classroom in the state.
Supporters of House Bill 839 say displaying the motto will restore the importance of patriotism in Florida's public school system.
Bill sponsor Rep. Kimberly Daniels (D-Jacksonville) says “the motto is inscribed on the walls of this great Capitol; it is also inked on our currency, and should be conspicuously displayed so that this generation [of students] will have a revelation of the foundation of this country.”
Reverend Gary Johnson, the President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, says the motto will help kids feel safe.
"When kids come inside of a school system, where they are faced with obstacles every day. Kids need to be reassured that their safety is beyond things they can see and touch," Johnson says.
But Sue Woltanski of the group Common Ground, worries about the cost for the school districts.
“I’m concerned that if we put an unfunded mandate to display our motto in the schools with the amount of funding we have now that there may not the funds to give it the respect it deserves," Woltanski says.
But Daniels points out as long as the motto is visible there are no specifications on how big it must be.
“Actually I don’t know the dimensions, and just like anything else when policy is put in place as long as it is displayed," Daniels says.
The bill is now heading for the House floor, but its Senate companion has not yet been heard in its first committee stop.