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Originally published: 2013-11-06 12:38:04
Last modified: 2013-11-06 12:38:49

Schools decline 'In God We Trust' posters

A representative of the American Legion post in Boone on Monday criticized the school system's decision not to accept framed posters reading "In God We Trust" for its school buildings.

Rick Cornejo addressed the Board of Education during public comment Monday asking the school system to reconsider.

The 16-inch by 20-inch frames feature the words "In God We Trust" on an American flag background.

The American Legion Post 130 has presented 185 of the free signs so far to churches, organizations and businesses throughout the county, Cornejo said. In July, Watauga County commissioners accepted one to post in the Watauga County Administration Building.

(The Watauga Democrat, part of a private, family-owned company, also has displayed the poster in its entryway.)

The American Legion Post intended to place one poster in each school, but was denied after the school system's legal counsel advised that it would not be appropriate to post, WCS spokesman Marshall Ashcraft said.

Ashcraft said the school system was told that the poster could be construed as a promotion of religion.

Cornejo said that "In God We Trust" in the national motto, adopted in 1956, and that it is printed on American coins and bills. He argued that students should be more exposed to historical information, and that other school systems have allowed similar displays.

"Nowhere on it does it state anything about a religion," he said. "It merely says, 'In God We Trust.'"

Some members of the audience applauded after Cornejo spoke Monday.

The Board of Education did not comment on his request.