ALLEN, Texas — A Florida activist said he sent around 275 “In God We Trust” posters to Texas, including around two dozen to Allen ISD.
Chaz Stevens, who advocates for the separation of church and state, told WFAA he designed the signs, which are in different languages.
“If the government chooses one church, every other church or not church -- like I’m an atheist -- is going to get the shaft,” Stevens said. “So the idea is to protect all of religious beliefs.”
He said people write to him and suggest which school districts he should send signs to. He told WFAA he plans to send a couple hundred more posters to the Lone Star state.
“I'm really good at flipping the script on its head and taking advantage of the law as written, peaceful (and) law-abiding,” Stevens said.
Texas lawmakers passed a law last year requiring districts to hang privately donated "In God We Trust" signs in a prominent location in buildings.
In August, Carroll ISD put up signs donated by conservative cell phone company, Patriot Mobile, but rejected other signs written in Arabic and with LGBTQ+ pride colors despite the law’s requirement.
In September, Tarrant County parents sent cease-and-desist letters to school districts in Mansfield, Keller, Southlake and Grapevine-Colleyville, telling the districts to take down "In God We Trust" signs that allegedly violate state law and replace them with ones that are compliant, including signs with rainbow designs and Arabic writing.
“Poorly written,” Stevens said of Texas’ new law. “But then again, if you're going to write a dumb law, expect dumb things to happen.”
In a statement, Allen ISD confirmed they received posters on Tuesday writing: “Allen ISD has received two donations of the (In God We Trust) posters you referenced. The first donation was received several weeks ago. Allen ISD worked with legal counsel to review the posters, and it was determined that the requirements in the statute were met. The posters have since been placed in our campus libraries. The District received a second donation of posters on Sept. 6. The District is again working to review the posters and determine if they meet the legal requirements.”
WFAA reached out to 20 school districts in Tarrant County: Seven of the 20 said they have received "In God We Trust" signs.
Aledo ISD told WFAA they’ve received a dozen “In God We Trust” signs.
Northwest ISD said it already hung one sign up in its administration building lobby and is in the process of hanging up others at their elementary schools.
“We are coordinating with the donating group of parents for the remaining signs needed for secondary schools and additional facilities,” a Northwest ISD spokesperson told WFAA.
In a statement, Fort Worth ISD said, “We received notification of a donation of posters which will be reviewed for compliance with requirements under the law. After this review, we will determine next steps for distribution as appropriate.”