News (USA)

Progressive parent found a creative way to stand up to Texas’s “In God we trust” poster law

Sravan Krishna tried to donate his posters to Carroll ISD
Sravan Krishna tried to donate his posters to Carroll ISDPhoto: Screenshot

After his school district started displaying posters that say “In God we trust” because a new Texas law requires schools to display those posters if they are donated, a Texas parent tried to donate more inclusive posters with rainbow colors. The school board rejected his donation, instead displaying posters from a conservative Christian organization.

Last week, Texas S.B. 797 drew attention as it went into effect, forcing schools across the state to display signs that say “In God we trust” in a “conspicuous place” as long as those signs are donated to the schools. Many criticized the law as bringing religious power dynamics into schools.

The Carroll ISD in Southlake, Texas was at the center of the controversy, as the anti-LGBTQ Christian conservative phone company Patriot Mobile donated such signs to the district last week and district trustees posed for photos with the signs during a board meeting. Patriot Mobile has donated a lot of money to get conservatives who agree with their political positions elected to school boards in Texas.

That’s when parent Sravan Krishna decided to push back in a creative way: he had posters made that said “In God we trust”… one in Arabic, and another with the word “God” in rainbow colors.

He presented the signs at a board meeting last night.

“We will have to look at what remedies we have so we don’t get excluded from our public schools,” Krishna said as he presented the posters to the board. “We deserve to be included in these efforts as well.”

Board president Cameron Bryan rejected them though, saying that Carroll ISD already had enough “In God we trust” signs. He claimed that the district didn’t have to display more than one poster per school, even though the new law doesn’t actually say anything about a limit.

According to journalist Steven Monacelli, Krishna tried to get on the agenda for last week’s meeting but couldn’t, so he came to the public comment this week to donate them.

“The state law was done by opportunists with a political agenda, however it is state law,” Krishna said after the meeting, explaining that people he knew were “concerned” about the involvement of Patriot Mobile in the district. “We wanted to celebrate this in a different way by including the other people as well.”

Monacelli noted on Twitter that another group – the Texas Bipartisan Alliance – is going to donate other “In God we trust” posters that have rainbow colors and trans pride flag colors.

The new law was co-authored by state Sen. Bryan Hughes (R), the same lawmaker behind Texas’s six-week abortion ban that allows people to collect a $10,000 bounty if they sue anyone who helps someone get an illegal abortion and the state’s “Save Chick-fil-A” bill that was a response to a city not giving the anti-LGBTQ fast food chain Chick-fil-A a contract with its airport.

“The national motto, In God We Trust, asserts our collective trust in a sovereign God,” Hughes said about the latest bill.

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