When Pennsylvania House lawmakers return to Harrisburg in mid-November, they’ll be faced with a proposal to display “In God We Trust” in every public school building.
The measure should be without controversy, said Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Allegheny, a sponsor of the bill.
“In God We Trust” has been printed on the country’s coins since the 1860s and adopted as the country’s motto in 1956 by a Democratically controlled Congress.
The bill requiring it be displayed in schools isn’t written like most pieces of legislation.
It’s less of a legalistic litany of definitions, and more of a narrative. Saccone said he was trying to provide some historical context.
“We need to raise awareness of it. Many people don’t know what our motto is. Many adults don’t know what our national motto is, let alone our children,” he said. “So it’s a good history lesson, it’s a good civics lesson, just like we honor the flag every day and say the Pledge of Allegiance.”
Saccone, who said he’s not proposing that the history of the motto be added to teachers’ lesson plans, anticipates that displaying the motto will not cost the schools anything.
“They can display it any way they want. They can have one of their art classes make a drawing of it and put it up,” he said. “They could have some of the PTOs or the PTAs get out there and be involved in it. There’s a million ways to do this that won’t cost them a penny.”
The proposal includes no plan for enforcement.