(Photo: Courtesy of Kevin Dooley)
A North Carolina school district has refused to hang free posters from a local chapter of the American Legion Post bearing the country's national motto.
The Watauga County School District told members of the organization that it was worried about being sued if it let the posters hang in the school.
"We got an email from the school saying thank you but on advice of their legal counsel they could not accept the posters because of separation of church and state," American Legion member and Baptist minister Rick Cornejo told Fox News.
Cornejo said that the school district's decision confused him because he could not understand how the posters promoted any type of religion.
"How is that promoting religion?" said Cornejo."It doesn't say anything about Jesus. I could understand if it was a Bible verse – but it's 'In God We Trust.'"
With an American flag background, the 16 x 20 inch posters read "In God We Trust" and on a separate line, "The national motto of the United States, adopted by Congress, July 30, 1956." They are part of a statewide campaign to hang the posters in every school and every business in North Carolina.
So far, Cornejo's organization has been successful in convincing 185 businesses in the county to hang the posters.
However, it looks like its efforts to move into schools will be stymied - despite even the wishes of the district's teachers.
"It's disappointing, it really is," he said. "Educators are asking us for those posters so they can put them in their classrooms but right now they can't do it – because the school board won't let them."