HARRISBURG (KDKA) — Should “In God We Trust” be posted in public school buildings? That’s what a bill introduced by a suburban Pittsburgh legislator would require.
State Rep. Rick Saccone told a rally at the State Capitol Wednesday that “In God We Trust,” which was adopted as the national motto 60 years ago and on American bills and coins for 150 years, should be publicly displayed in schools.
But one ACLU chapter says it will sue school districts that do this, even as Rep. Saccone rejects civil libertarians who say it’s unconstitutional.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Rep. Saccone. “Just take a look around this building. It’s full of more than 50 references to God, the Scriptures and the Bible. It’s everywhere.”
Whatever the controversy over these words, what really bothers educators is that this is just another mandate from Harrisburg; legislators telling local school boards what to do when local control of education is a bedrock Pennsylvania tradition.
“Although I would not personally be opposed to posting ‘In God We Trust’ in a building, I think that is up to a local school district to make that decision,” said Dr. Linda Hippert, the executive director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.
Dr. Hippert, a former superintendent, said other education issues — like funding — have greater priority.
But Rep. Saccone rejects that saying legislators can multi-task.
“’Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added unto you.’ We’ll get them done,” said Rep. Saccone. “You got to prioritize.”
While a committee has approved Rep. Saccone’s bill, no vote on the measure has been scheduled in the full House.