Stop forcing Christian beliefs in public schools

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Stop forcing Christian beliefs in public schools

Compiled: careynieuwhof.com

Compiled: careynieuwhof.com

Compiled: careynieuwhof.com

Compiled: careynieuwhof.com

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If you have taken a history class in Louisiana, you have heard the term separation of church and state more times than you can count. In May 2018, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill that completely contradicted years of teaching around the state.

Although the bill hides under the guise of educating students, I see it as a subtle attempt to spread Christianity to Louisiana public school students.
Edwards’ bill requires all Louisiana public schools to display “In God We Trust” on their campuses this fall. To meet the bill’s minimum requirement, schools throughout Louisiana began hanging posters of the U.S. national motto before the semester began last week.

According to KNOE News, West Monroe High School students could see dozens of “In God We Trust” posters in each building on campus during the first day of school.
The bill also calls for these schools to begin teaching the meaning behind the U.S. national motto as if our state’s education system hasn’t already been doing so for years.

I don’t believe there is a single public school student in Louisiana who isn’t aware of the origins of the U.S. or what “In God We Trust” stands for, but neither does Louisiana’s government. Gov. Edwards’ bill is trying to bring religion back into public schools despite contradicting the separation of church and state in the process.
Louisiana is not the first state to try to wiggle its way around the separation of church and state and it won’t be the last. There are numerous Supreme Court cases involving similar situations dating as far back as 1879, according to the Bill of Rights Institute.

One of the most well-known cases is Engel v. Vitale where a New York state law in 1962 required public schools to begin each day with a prayer. The Supreme Court deemed the law unconstitutional because it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Louisiana’s attempt to escape the separation of church and state is a watered-down version of New York’s. Although subtle, Gov. Edwards’ bill is still a clear violation of the first amendment.
No one has yet to take Louisiana to court over Gov. Edwards’ bill but if someone did, the Supreme Court would be on their side.