The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Florida House votes to force schools to display ‘In God We Trust’ a day after refusing to consider gun control

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If the Florida House of Representatives has its way, all public schools in the Sunshine State will soon be required to post the words “In God We Trust” — the state’s motto — on all campuses where students and staff can see them.

The House voted on the legislation Wednesday — 97 to 10, with members standing and applauding the results —  after finding time to debate and approve a bill declaring pornography a “public health risk.”

Yet the House refused, 71 to 37,  to take up a bill this week to ban assault weapons, which had been supported by student survivors of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where a gunman killed 17 people. The students had gone to the state capital to push for gun control and were in the gallery when the gun legislation was raised. Some were dismayed by the legislators’ inaction.

For the “In God We Trust” mandate to become law, the state Senate would have to pass the same legislation, which calls for the words to be posted in “a conspicuous place” in all schools plus all buildings used by all local school boards.

But why require all schools — as well as all buildings used by local school boards — to post “In God We Trust,” which happens to be the state motto?

Rep. Kim Daniels (D), who runs a ministry, said it would help provide needed “light” in the state’s schools, according to the Tampa Bay Times. It quoted her as saying: “He is not a Republican or a Democrat. He is not black or white. He is the light, and our schools need light in them like never before.”

While telling other House members why she thought it was important to pass the legislation, she said: “We cannot put God in a closet when the issues we face are bigger than us.”

(Correction: Rep. Kim Daniels is a Democrat, not a Republican)

Here’s the text of the legislation:

Florida House declares pornography a ‘public health risk.’ Guns? Not so much.