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Proposed mandate for 'In God We Trust' on classroom walls made optional

Proposed mandate for 'In God We Trust' on classroom walls made optional

Lawmakers consider mandating 'In God We Trust' be displayed in every Indiana public school classroom

State Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, holds a poster featuring the phrase "In God We Trust" that he wants all Indiana public schools required to display in every classroom and library. The Senate Education Committee revised Kruse's Senate Bill 131 Wednesday to make display of the phrase optional.

Public schools across Indiana apparently will not be forced to emblazon the phrase "In God We Trust" on the walls of every classroom and library.

The Republican-controlled Senate Education Committee on Wednesday replaced the proposed unfunded mandate in Senate Bill 131 with language giving schools the option to display in classrooms a poster with "In God We Trust" and representations of the U.S. and Indiana flags.

Existing state law already authorizes a principal or teacher to post the national motto in school buildings and classrooms. Schools receiving state funds also already are required to fly the Indiana flag in a prominent place.

Nevertheless, state Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, the sponsor of the measure, asked the committee to approve the revised proposal, signaling that he may try to restore the mandate at another step in the legislative process.

The panel ultimately voted 9-2 to send the legislation to the full Senate for possible revisions and a decision next week on whether to advance it to the Republican-controlled House.

"In God We Trust" was adopted as the national motto in 1956, at the height of the Cold War, to distinguish the United States from the officially atheist Soviet Union.

The nation's original motto, "E Pluribus Unum" ("From Many, One"), was approved by Congress in 1782 and also appears on U.S. coins, the $1 bill and the Great Seal of the United States.

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