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"In God We Trust" Signs Displayed at Pea Ridge Schools

PEA RIDGE, Ark. (KNWA) - A sign that some consider to be controversial is now on the walls of some Northwest Arkansas schools. While some appreciate this action, it is a concern for others. 

Benton County schools are the first to implement a new law.

More than 200 "In God We Trust" signs were donated to Pea Ridge schools and are now hung up in classrooms across the district. 

"Every sign that we have has to be put up," says Mark Laster from Pea Ridge Schools. 

Arkansas Act 911 requires the state to display framed "In God We Trust" signs inside classrooms, under one condition. 

"No public funds are used, and they have to be donated," Laster explains. 

The posters originally came from the American History and Heritage Foundation. 

Laster says the district is just following protocol. 

"Anytime there is a new law, you are going to have opinions and they have a right to their opinion," Laster continues. "But it doesn't change what we do as a public school and what we do here is follow the law."

Almost 900 signs were also provided to Bentonville schools. 

Casey Goodman, who's wife works in the district, says this is a nationalist effort. 

"Classrooms are supposed to be built between the teachers and the students, not an outside force," says Goodman, adding that this one piece of paper could have a lasting impact on inclusion within schools. 

"We are now sliding down a hill," Goodman adds. "There are other religions inside schools besides Christianity. Have these outside people looked at a classroom nowadays? It is not just a bunch of white kids."

But Pea Ridge says the signs aren't there to influence everyone. 

"One of the things we strive for is "uncommon education for all"," Laster says. "It is not anything that is forced. It is just something now that we do as a school district." 


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