ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Just a week after their donation to Abilene ISD, the Abilene Freedom League (AFL) went before the Wylie ISD School Board to present 8 signs bearing the US and Texas flags alongside the national motto “In God We Trust”.

Texas Senate Bill 797 passed in May of 2021, requiring Texas Schools to display the signs only if they are donated and funded by an outside source.

“We are here today because our Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 797 back in May of 2021,” AFL Director of Public Information Tyler Lineweaver told the board.

While concerns about the laws standing with the separation of church and state have been raised, Lineweaver says the law does not constitute a mandate since they must be provided by the community in the first place.

“How they’re preventing the people from being forced to be involved in this – this isn’t taxpayer money that’s going to these signs. They are creating a vessel for the people to be able to fund this,” Lineweaver said.

And by in large, the Wylie Community supports the signs. No residents or parents raised concerns at either the AISD or WISD board meetings.

“It’s part of our constitutional right that we can display our beliefs,” WISD parent Luis Morello told KTAB and KRBC.

“Growing up, God was always in the school. Every morning was prayer scripture readings over the PA system, and it was normal. I just remember one kid that used to gripe about it, and we were like ‘well, just put your fingers in your ears,'” said Former WISD parent Timothy Allen.

Allen had 5 children go though the Wylie School system. As a self professed Christian, he says he is in favor of the signs but not the law that makes displaying them somewhat mandatory.

“I’d say that’s getting politics involved where it doesn’t need to go. That’s the way I see it. Seems like any time you try to push something, somebody’s gonna push back,” Allen said.

Though again, Lineweaver says religious beliefs are not being forced upon anyone and does not see the law as a mandate.

“It does require by law – like we said before. If someone does donate, they do have to, but like I said, that’s an extension of public sentiment because what you’ve done is you’ve allowed the public to speak, and they funded those signs, so therefore. . . yeah you do have to,” said Lineweaver.

“Is the state or the government forcing anybody to be revolved in a religion? That’s not happening here, or are they preventing anybody from practicing a certain religion? Well that’s not happening either right?” questioned Lineweaver.

Residents like Allen finding the line between government mandate and freedom of choice – a murky one in this situation.

“Any time politics gets involved with spiritual beliefs there’s always. . .somebody’s toes will get stepped on and everything gets muddy,” Allen said.