Pennsylvania House Bill 1728
provides for the prominent display of the national motto “In God We Trust” in public school buildings.
This bill should be rejected. The motto has a Judeo-Christian historical background, and posting it in public school buildings gives the impression that public schools endorse the religious message of the motto. Of course, not all public school students believe in God, and so that this bill would have a divisive, rather than a unifying effect on students. Students should not be made to feel excluded in their own public school because the government shows a preference for one religious or for religion over non-religion.
Not only is this bill divisive, but it is also simply unnecessary. There is no current threat to the national motto, and there is no need to protect or reaffirm it in classrooms. The clear purpose of this bill is political posturing. The government should not get involved in these matters.
Furthermore, this is an unfunded mandate that will cause public schools to waste much-needed funds on symbolic plaques. Under this bill, schools will have to purchase a plaque or sign, or could instead hold a contest to generate student artwork of the motto, inviting an extremely inappropriate school assignment that would make many students feel uncomfortable. Public school funds and time should be focused on real education.
Unfortunately, HB 1728 passed committee on October 23rd
and will likely be up for a House floor vote soon. Act now! Please contact your State Representative and tell him/her, “HB 1728 is unnecessary and divisive. There is no need to impose burdens on public schools to symbolically affirm our national motto when it is under no threat in the first place.”
Find contact information here
by clicking on the name of your Representative.