The Florida Legislature is making moves to require all Florida school districts to prominently display "In God We Trust" in schools.

The Florida Legislature is making moves to require all Florida school districts to prominently display "In God We Trust" in schools.

The bill will be a lesson to children, said Democratic Rep. Kimberly Daniels at the House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee meeting on Jan. 23 
in her presentation of the bill. She believes the motto should be displayed more conspicuously so that children will be exposed and educated "on this great motto which is a part of this country’s foundation."

It received unanimous approval, sending it to the House Education Committee for more discussion.

Bryan Bouton, Port Charlotte High teacher and Charlotte FEA President, told the Sun he thinks funding could be better used for other things since Florida schools already display the state motto on Florida state flags in multiple sites around each school and the American flag in the classrooms. "To be quite blunt, the need to fully fund Florida’s schools is a much more pressing issue than hanging a Florida state flag in every classroom ... what will the cost be, who will bear it and why is this even a thing when we fund schools at 2007 (year) levels? We currently say the Pledge of Allegiance every day as a part of our morning announcements. That doesn’t affect teachers at all, as it’s been a part of the day for a while now."

When asked about the resulting cost at the meeting if the bill passes, Daniels said she didn’t believe it would be that much of a significant cost to "just put a symbol on the wall." She said, I think it will be very doable. I think the importance of our children knowing the history and being able to see this will far much outweigh whatever small costs that there may be."

At the subcommittee meeting, both Democrats and Republicans praised the bill. Republican Rep. Ralph Massullo said he thought it was important for students to realize the civic history of Florida and that one portion of that history is that "we do trust in God."

"At least, that’s our motto," Massullo said. "At least, as far as I know, as of today, that’s an important thing for the country."

Republican Rep. Mel Ponder of Destin echoed Massullo at the meeting. Going on to say, "I’ve seen time and time again ... I think we too as a culture, as a nation, even other nations as well from one generation to the next, will forget the testimony, will forget the heritage, will forget the DNA of what the prior generation brought to the table."

He believes supporting the bill will allow Floridians to put "honor where honor is due and (to) celebrate a bedrock of nation of 'in God We Trust.’"

Democratic Rep. Larry Lee also praised the bill at the meeting, saying that it would be important in a time when young people do not go to church or "even value or respect life anymore." He said, "We look at what’s happening with a lot of our young people today, we’re taking God out of everything. This country was built on God."

"That bill is being supported by both Democrats and Republicans," said Pat Gardner, President of Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association. "Legislators should be focused on the catastrophic teacher shortages they are going to have and not on what is posted in a classroom or how many minutes they have recess."

Should the bill pass, the Charlotte school district will comply, according to School Board Chairman Ian Vincent.

"If the legislature directs us to do it," said Vincent, "we will, as we do with all state laws."

Wink News contributed to this report.