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‘ In God We Trust’

Nation’s motto on display in Marion School District classrooms

Marion School District Officials with the Marion School District have acted on a bill passed by the Arkansas Legislature and are putting posters with the national motto in every classroom.

Act 911 of 2017 states elementary and high schools “shall display a framed picture or poster of 'In God We Trust' above the U.S. flag in classrooms and libraries.

The catch — schools could not use public funds to purchase the artwork and frames. The pictures or posters must either be donated from private organizations or bought with funds from voluntary organizations and individuals. Money for this purpose could also be donated to the Building Authority Division of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

Getting the funding was not a problem for retired MSD Superintendent Herbert Carter who volunteered for the project.

“I went to the local banks and First Community Bank (of Eastern Arkansas) said yes,” Carter said. “In fact, First Community donated most of the money (needed).”

“I liked the idea,” FCBEA Donny Underwood said. “It was a great idea and I wanted the bank to participate any way we could.

They gave us one of the framed posters and I am going to hang it in the back somewhere. They look very nice.”

Carter and a couple of his friends also pitched in some cash to push the project along.

Catch number two — the posters had to be framed.

And again, not a problem for Carter.

He found a frame at Walmart in West Memphis for $5.45 and bought just one.

He needed 267 frames, so Carter asked a national hobby and crafts chain store in Memphis for help but was turned down.

If you know Herbert Carter, you know he does not easily give up. He went back to Walmart and talked to the manager.

“He wanted to help and gave us the frames we needed for less than half price each,” Carter said.

Carter had the posters and frames, but someone had to put it all together.

The Joy Club, a group of senior citizens at First Baptist Church of Marion which Carter belongs, got together and put all posters in the frames and ready for school officials to pick up “It took us about four hours to get them all together,” Carter said. “I appreciate being part of it.”

And soon the district will have the posters proudly displaying “In God We Trust” in every classroom.

The law also requires the motto to appear in any public building that is maintained or operated by state funds.

“Certainly, we were very pleased when ACT 911 became law. We shared the information with a small group of community leaders and Herbert immedi- ately stepped forward and took the lead,” said MSD Superintendent Dr. Glen Fenter. “We sincerely appreciate his effort along with the support of First Community Bank and the First Baptist Church here in Marion. We very much look forward to proudly displaying these posters in classrooms throughout our school district.”

By Mike Douglas