PHOENIX — The Latest on a proposal allowing Arizona’s state motto in schools (all times local):
A proposal allowing teachers to display the state’s Latin motto and its English translation is heading to Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk despite concern from secular activists.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to allow schools to display the Latin phrase “Ditat Deus,” and its English translation “God enriches.”
The Republican-backed proposal passed along party lines in both chambers.
Secular activists spoke out against the bill for possibly raising constitutional concerns by blurring the line between church and state. But proponents said it will help teach students about the state’s history.
“Ditat Deus” was previously the motto for the Territory of Arizona, and was carried over when it became a state in 1912. It’s displayed on the state seal.
The Arizona state legislature is considering a proposal to allow teachers to display the state motto in their classrooms, a proposition that rankles some secular advocates because of the motto’s religious connotations.
The proposal would allow teachers and administrators to read or display state’s motto, Ditat Deus, which translates to “God enriches.” The House of Representatives debated the proposal for more than an hour, with some Democrats raising concerns about constitutional violations or offending atheist children and their families.
Supporters have said displaying the motto would help teach students about state history.
The Republican-backed proposal passed along party lines in the state Senate and still needs another vote from the House.
Teachers are already expressly allowed to read or display the national motto, “In God We Trust.”