State Watch

New South Dakota law requiring ‘In God We Trust’ sign to hang in public schools goes into effect

South Dakota public schools will be required to start hanging “In God We Trust” signs following a new law that went into effect this month.

Public schools across the state’s 149 districts must paint, stencil or prominently display the national motto, according to the Rapid City Journal.

Displays must measure at least 12-by-12 inches, according to the outlet, and must be approved by the school’s principal, the law states. The Journal reported that South Dakota lawmakers who proposed the legislation said the bill was aimed at inspiring patriotism in schools.{mosads}

The law, signed by Gov. Kristi Noem (R) in March, requires the schools to have the sign on display in a prominent location on school grounds, such as in entryways, cafeterias or common areas, by the start of the academic year.

The legislation states that South Dakota’s attorney general will represent school districts or school boards at no cost should they face a lawsuit over the displays.

The law, however, does not provide funding for school districts to acquire or put up the displays, the Rapid City Journal reports.

Wade Pogany, executive director of the Associated School Boards of South Dakota, told The Associated Press that schools are complying with the new law by mounting variety of signs.

“Some have plaques. Other have it painted on the wall, maybe in a mural setting,” Pogany said. In one school, “it was within their freedom wall. They added that to a patriotic theme.”

“In God We Trust” was adopted as the national motto in 1956 after President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation into law. The national motto appeared on paper money for the first time a year later.

Tags Kristi Noem

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