When Brittany Pike saw the back of a framed dollar bill at Athens Chilesburg Primary School in Lexington last week, she couldn’t have been happier.
Pike took a photo and posted it to Facebook on Wednesday with this post about Fayette County Public Schools’ response to Kentucky’s new law that requires the national motto “In God We Trust” to be prominently displayed in schools:
“This school year, Kentucky began requiring schools to place ‘In God We Trust’ in the building. I love living in a school district that wants to respect the law while making sure that EVERY student feels welcome, regardless of their religious beliefs. Many thanks to Fayette County Public Schools for simply posting a dollar with “In God We Trust”. My children don’t feel embarrassed or excluded that they don’t believe in any God.
Fayette Superintendent Manny Caulk said Wednesday afternoon that in complying with the new law, “all schools in our district received a framed version of an enlarged copy of a $ 1 bill to display. in a prominent place “.
Pike told the Herald-Leader that her husband is the state director of the American Atheists group and works behind the scenes to deal with the new law.
She said her child noticed the framed dollar bill at ACE last week and asked about it.
“We are delighted that this is what Fayette County has decided to do to uphold the law but also to allow everyone to feel included at the same time,” said Pike.
In a blog post titled: A school district in KY has found a brilliant loophole for the “In God We Trust” law, Blogger Hemant Mehta writing under the headline “The Friendly Atheist” said: “It’s a brilliant decision.”
The new law is required as a result of legislation tabled by State Representative Brandon Reed, a Republican minister from Hodgenville. He said in part that starting in the 2019-2020 school year, local boards will require every public elementary and secondary school to display the United States’ national motto, “In God We Trust,” in a prominent location. view of the school.
In response, Reed said, “It is extremely disappointing to see Fayette County public schools spending time looking for silly loopholes in a law that was passed with broad support from Democrats and Republicans and received over 70 votes in the House of Representatives . “
“Instead of empowering students by allowing them to create works of art displaying our national motto, Fayette County has instead chosen to play political games and deny students this opportunity,” said Reed. “Many districts across the state have taken the creative artwork route for students, which my bill specifically allowed and would cost our schools little or no money. Our national motto is prominent in other public institutions, and it is something to be proud of, not to be ashamed of. I hope to see FCPS reconsider its unfortunate decision.
Other districts in Kentucky have purchased larger signs to comply with the law.
This story was originally published August 14, 2019 2:37 pm.