Rapid City students look to expand ‘In God We Trust’ requirement
RAPID CITY S.D. – As Rapid City School Board members prepared to look at early budget numbers on Monday night, they were hit with a surprise.
Members of the ‘Working to Initiate Social Equality Club’ (WISE) at Stevens High School came before the school board with an idea. They take issue with a new law requiring the motto ‘In God We Trust’ to be displayed in every public school.
The law says it has to be displayed in a prominent location, and can take the form of a plaque, student artwork, or another form approved by the principal. The students are proposing a new design which they say is more inclusive.
“Even though we acknowledge that ‘In God We Trust’ is our national motto, we were hoping we could somehow create a design, and show that students really want to be inclusive, and demonstrate that we want to be aware of all religions,” said Abigail Ryan, one of the members of WISE.
But their effort doesn’t stop there. They say modifying making “In God We Trust” is more in tune with the First Amendment.
“Since we all have the freedom of religion, the establishment clause in the first amendment states that the United States Government and no government agency should be able to prefer one religion over another,” Ryan said.
Ryan also said the design she presented to the school board is one of many that schools could use. She plans to talk to lawmakers about what they think of it.