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Blount County schools to consider adding 'In God We Trust' displays

The Blount County School system tells ABC 33/40 News it is considering a policy which give teacher's the option to place 'In God We Trust" inside its classrooms. (abc3340.com)

The Blount County school system could soon allow its faculty the choice to erect signs bearing the motto of the United States of America, 'In God We Trust' inside classrooms and other public areas. The decision could be among the first by an Alabama school system since a state law was passed which aimed to protect such actions.

Blount County School superintendent Rodney Green said the school system's legal team was looking over the law and a formal policy could be announced within the next 1-2 months.

"I think it's a good piece of legislation. I really think it's...other than our state mandating it. I think having it as an option for our teachers is a good part of this particular bill."

H.B. 228 or the National Motto "In God We Trust" Act permits the motto's use in all public buildings. The bill was sponsored by the region's state representative David Standridge. Laws passed in other states, including Florida and Tennessee go further. They mandate the mottos be placed in schools and classrooms.

The laws have already gained the attention of organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation which advocate for the complete, total separation of church and state in government policies. "FFRF is considering the best legal options for this rash of legislation," said the organization in a release issued last week.

Brenda Helms admits school for her grandchildren in Blount County is a different place than she remembers as a child decades earlier.

"We always read a verse out of the Bible. We always said a prayer every morning and we always said pledge of allegiance to the flag every morning."

"In God We Trust" became the official motto of the United States of America by an act of Congress in 1956. Green said the law is meant to protect the national motto, not the presence of religion in public classrooms. Many Blount County parents who spoke to ABC 33/40 News did not appear concerned by the distinction.

'It's everyone's right to which way they want believe but I think everyone should have the option to have it (the motto) in school. It shouldn't be banned or excluded," said Zach Dorning as he waited to pick up his son from school.

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