In 2001, shortly after 9/11, the Republican-controlled Virginia legislature passed a bill saying that all public schools had to put the statement “In God We Trust” somewhere where everyone could see it. They didn’t even refer to it as the “national motto” until later versions of the bill, which suggests this was all about pushing religion in the schools and had little to do with patriotism.
In Isle of Wight, school district officials say they were unaware of the legislation. (Like many bills that push religion in schools, the politicians don’t really care about enforcement; they just want to be able to say to voters that they were able to pass the legislation.) But they’re aware of it now. They received a donation of signs from a local Veterans of Foreign Wars and plan to put them up when the school year begins: