State senator proposes putting 'In God We Trust,' religious studies in Indiana classrooms

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — An Indiana lawmaker has proposed a bill to require signs reading "In God We Trust" in the state's public and charter schools and allow them to offer religious study classes.

Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, introduced the "Education matters" bill to the State Senate last week. The bill calls for each school corporation or charter school to display both the United States and Indiana state flag and the motto "In God We Trust on posters in each classroom and library. The motto would be predominant in Kruse's recommended posters, filling a required space of at least 4" by 15" on a poster that is at least 11" by 17".

The posters could be purchased by the school or donated.

The second part of the bill would allow schools to offer an elective course "surveying religions of the world." If the course were offered, it would be required to include historical and cultural studies of religion and "a literary study of writings, documents, or records relating to various religions, including the study of the Bible."

Kruse's bill says the classes must be "neutral, objective and balanced" and "not encourage or promote acceptance of any particular religion."

The bill would also allow school corporations to teach theories about the origin of life, including creation science.

Parents are already allowed to request their student be allowed to be released from school to attend a school for religious instruction conducted by a church, an association of churches or an association organized for religious instruction that has been incorporated under Indiana law for up to two hours a week. Sen. Kruse's bill would allow students to receive up to two elective academic credits for that instruction if their local school board votes to allow it.

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