Cullman Co. Schools vote to have “In God We Trust” motto displayed on campuses

"In God We Trust" Motto Controversy

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Four words are stirring up controversy in Cullman County and throughout the state.

The school board voted just last week to place “In God We Trust” on plaques in each school.

“It seems like a perfect time, doesn’t it? I don’t think it’s going to hurt anything," said Cullman County School Superintendent Shane Barnette.

Shane Barnette
Shane Barnette (Source: WBRC)

Barnette is now coming up with a design for the “In God We Trust” plaques at each of the district’s 29 campuses.

The decision was voted on last Thursday. All school board members voted to pass a resolution to post the motto.

School system votes to have motto placed on plaques at every school.
School system votes to have motto placed on plaques at every school. (Source: WBRC)

The resolution was based on a law passed in July that gives public institutions the right to display the nation’s motto.

“I think our legislators have seen the importance of the heritage that we have in America, and we want to follow suit with that,” said Barnette.

Brock Boone
Brock Boone (Source: WBRC)

But American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney Brock Boone said this motto sends a message that excludes students of certain faiths or of no faith.

“It’s concerning to me because Cullman County School Board should be focusing on the education of its students, not dividing the residents, the parents, the students along religious lines,” said Boone.

Barnette said incorporating the motto on campus doesn’t mean they’re incorporating religious lessons into the curriculum.

And in response to Boone, he had this to say: “Well, anybody that says something like that, I’ll ask them, ‘Do you use our U.S. currency?’ And if they do, and if they look at the currency, they’ll see “In God We Trust” on that. A lot of people that don’t want to be around that, I dont see them throwing that money away, saying they’re not going to use that money. I think people will realize that it’s around us a lot more than they know, and I don’t think this is going to be a huge change from that.”

Cullman County School System
Cullman County School System (Source: WBRC)

Barnette said he hopes to get the plaques up near the front offices of each campus within the next couple of months.

They will use Cullman County Schools' money to purchase the plaques.

Barnette invites parents with concerns to contact the board.

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