After the In God We Trust Act was signed into law during the 87th Legislative Session (2021), some teachers have complained that they were denied the ability to display the signs donated to them. In response, Gov. Greg Abbott has signed a new measure into law that protects teachers’ rights to display the posters.

In 2003, Texas State Sen. Bryan Hughes (R–Mineola) co-authored Senate Bill 797, allowing the national motto to be posted in public schools. In 2021, Hughes took it a step further and passed the In God We Trust Act, which requires that any posters donated or purchased by private donations with the phrase should be visible in Texas classrooms. 

As some groups began opposing the act, calling it a “blatant intrusion of religion,” State Rep. Tom Oliverson (R–Cypress) filed House Bill 2012, which amends the education code so that public elementary or secondary school teachers or professors at a public university may display the national motto without repercussions. 

On Thursday, Abbott signed a bill to address the problem teachers are facing in the classroom. 

“Some teachers complained that they were being denied the ability to display ‘In God We Trust,’ our national motto, in their classroom. Well, I’m going to fix that,” Abbott said. “I just signed a law prohibiting any school district from denying a teacher the ability to display ‘In God We Trust’ in their classroom.” 

Hours after Abbott posted his signing, Oliverson thanked him for making it a law and protecting teachers. 

The law will go into effect before the 2023-2024 school year. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.