‘In God We Trust’ bill would display motto in every classroom

OKLAHOMA CITY - We see the nation's motto - 'In God We Trust' - on money and some buildings and police cars. Now, a lawmaker wants to see the motto displayed in every Oklahoma classroom.

"It's the national motto," said Senator Wayne Shaw of Grove.

Shaw, who is also a pastor, is pushing for the legislation.

"It's on our coins," Shaw said. "Why not?"

Shaw's proposal would include the motto, the American flag and the Oklahoma flag to be placed in each classroom and every public building maintained or operated by the state.

"There's some misconception," Shaw said. "Number one is the schools are paying for it. It will be done by private funds. It will cost the schools absolutely nothing."

So far, it's a bill some said they can stand behind.

"We both believe in God," said Joshua Huff. "I grew up that way, and been going to church and everything. I believe they should."

"I think it should go back in school because my kids are growing up knowing about God, church and they think it's probably a good idea," said Lori Mears.

The proposal passed the Senate Committee with a 6 to 4 vote, and it now heads to appropriation committee.

Senator David Holt of Oklahoma City voted no.

"We passed two bills directing teachers how to decorate their classrooms," Holt said. "It's embarrassing."

Besides calling it an embarrassment, Holt said he doesn't know how the bill will play out in the state Supreme Court.

"I don't know if it's constitutional," he said. "It maybe within their pejorative as a legal matter, but it's certainly not advisable."

He also said the legislature should be focusing on proposals that provide teachers with a competitive pay raise and resources.

"This is a waste of legislative resources, legislative time," Holt said. "It's a bill that needs to go away so we can focus on issues that really matter."

The motto and flag images and items would be a poster or frame. The items would be either donated or purchased through contributions.