BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- Bentonville and Pea Ridge School Districts will soon have posters in every classroom with the United States National Motto on them.
The posters will read ‘In God We Trust’.
This comes after state representative Jim Dotson's bill became law. The bill requires the display of the motto in any public building maintained with state funds if the posters are donated.
“I think for students as well as all American citizens we need to be aware of our American History, our heritage, our culture. Our national motto is something that is posted on many buildings, monuments throughout our country and all of our currency,” Dotson said.
The law went into effect in April of 2017. Dotson hopes it will also provide students with a good conscience while in school.
“We all know of instances in recent events where our culture of violence is being shown all around and I think it's something that hopefully students will be able to see on the walls and know that our country was founded on something better,” he said.
The American Legion Post 77 raised more than $1,500 to buy more than 1,000 posters that will be put in every classroom and library in the two school districts.
Bentonville school board member Brent Leas said he thinks this is a great thing to have on display, but he knows there will be some opposition.
“I hope that they understand the reasoning behind it is just to recognize the motto and just having it up on display. We have it on our money, so it's appropriate to have it on our walls at our schools,” he said.
The Pea Ridge School district already has their more than 200 posters. The American Legion plans on starting to deliver the close to 900 framed posters to Bentonville schools this week.
The American History and Heritage Foundation is an Arkansas based non-profit that also raised money and printed the posters.
ACLU of Arkansas released the following statement.
“This affects parental autonomy. Parents have a right to control their children’s religious upbringing.”
And the American Atheists said:
“These displays have nothing to do with honoring our nation's history or heritage. Rep. Dotson and groups who have pledged to donate these displays have been quite clear about their purpose: injecting religion into Arkansas' public schools. Rep. Dotson himself has said the displays are an "acknowledgement of god in public life." Mandating these displays is unconstitutional and is little more than a knee-jerk reaction from Christian supremacists who don't know the first thing about religious freedom or patriotism. The United States is not now, and never has been, a nation under god. Rather, out of many different religious views and beliefs, we are one nation. We should celebrate that diversity instead of using divisive religious mottoes to tell atheists and minority religious groups that they are second-class citizens.”