Louisiana Senate Bill 244 was signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards, making it mandatory for all Louisiana public schools to bear the national motto “In God We Trust” somewhere on the building starting in 2019.
Jane Johnson, Interim Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, said the motto itself shouldn’t be problematic because it is, indeed, the motto of the United States.
However, the new law also states there will be mandatory classroom instruction about the motto, and that’s where Johnson said there is potential for a conflict of church and state.
Johnson said “The establishment of religion clause means the government can not take sides of which religious beliefs are preferred over others. Its possible that some of that sort of religious instruction might creep in when you start talking about ‘In God We Trust’ and what that means.”
The state of Louisiana has not yet released the curriculum or materials that will be used in the instruction.