LEXINGTON, Ky. — When Brittany Pike saw the back of a dollar bill framed at Lexington’s Athens Chilesburg Elementary School last week, she couldn’t have been more pleased.
Pike took a photo and posted it on Facebook Wednesday along with this message about Fayette County Public Schools’ response to Kentucky’s new law that requires the national “In God We Trust” motto to be displayed prominently at schools:
“This school year Kentucky began requiring schools to place “In God We Trust” in the building. I absolutely love living in a school district that wants to follow the law while also ensuring EVERY student feels welcomed back regardless of religious beliefs. Thank you so very much Fayette County Public Schools for simply posting a dollar with ‘In God We Trust.’ My kids don’t feel awkward or excluded for not believing in any God.”
Pike told The Lexington Herald-Leader that her husband is the state director at the group American Atheists, and has been working behind the scenes to address the new law.
She said her child noticed the framed dollar bill at ACE last week and asked about it.
“We are pleased that that’s what Fayette County had decided to do to fulfill the law but also to let everybody feel included at the same time,” Pike said.
In a blog post titled : A KY School District Found a Brilliant Loophole for the “In God We Trust” Law, blogger Hemant Mehta writing under the heading “The Friendly Atheist” said “It’s a brilliant move.”
The new law is required as a result of legislation filed by State Rep. Brandon Reed, a Republican minister from Hodgenville. It said in part that beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, local boards shall require each public elementary and secondary school to display the national motto of the United States, “In God We Trust,” in a prominent location in the school.
Other Kentucky districts have purchased larger signs to comply with the law.
At least one other Lexington public school — Ashland Elementary — has also framed and displayed a dollar bill.
Fayette County Public Schools officials did not immediately respond and have not answered questions about the district’s response to the law since June, when school district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said the district was working through the logistics of how best to comply with the law.
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