'In God We Trust' signs will greet students at South Dakota public schools

South Dakota public school students will see the national motto, "In God We Trust" displayed on their campuses, thanks to a law that went into effect this month.

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bill signed by Gov. Kristi Noem in March requires the motto to be on display beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, CNN reported.

The display can be a plaque, student artwork or anything the school's principal deems appropriate, NPR reported. The sign must be at least 12 inches square and displayed in a prominent spot at the school, the network reported.

A prominent location is defined as "a school entryway, cafeteria, or other common area where students are most likely to see the national motto display," according to the bill.

If a school is sued over the displays, the state attorney general's office will act as a defense attorney at no cost, CNN reported.

In Rapid City, several students at Stevens High School proposed a modification to the law during a school board meeting, KOTA reported. The alteration would include the mention of other deities, including Allah, Buddha, Yahweh and the Spirits, the television station reported. The proposed modification also would mention science, KOAT reported.

"I think that's a really foundational element of American society is that we are a cultural melting pot and it is really important that we make all people who come to America to feel welcome and to be more in accordance with the First Amendment since we all have the freedom of religion," student Abigail Ryan told the television station.

While the school board heard the proposal, it did not take action, KOTA reported.

The board heard the opinion but took no action, the station said.

"In God We Trust" was adopted as the national motto when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation on July 30, 1956.

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