Ten Commandments must now be displayed in Louisiana public classrooms

  • by:
  • Source: Fox 8 Live
  • 06/20/2024
Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom under a bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry on Wednesday (June 19).

The GOP-drafted legislation mandates that a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” be required in all public classrooms, from kindergarten to state-funded universities.

Opponents question the law’s constitutionality. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation jointly announced plans to file a lawsuit challenging the new law.

“We are preparing a lawsuit to challenge HB 71,” the groups said in a statement. “The law violates the separation of church and state and is blatantly unconstitutional. The First Amendment promises that we all get to decide for ourselves what religious beliefs, if any, to hold and practice, without pressure from the government. Politicians have no business imposing their preferred religious doctrine on students and families in public schools.

“Louisiana’s communities and public schools are religiously diverse, yet HB 71 would require school officials to promote specific religious beliefs to which people of many faiths, and those of no faith, do not subscribe. Even among those who may believe in some version of the Ten Commandments, the particular text that they adhere to can differ by religious denomination or tradition. The government should not be taking sides in this theological debate, and it certainly should not be coercing students to submit day in and day out to unavoidable promotions of religious doctrine.

Proponents say the purpose of the measure is not solely religious, but that it has historical significance. In the law’s language, the Ten Commandments are described as “foundational documents of our state and national government.”

The displays, which will be paired with a four-paragraph “context statement” describing how the Ten Commandments “were a prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries,” must be in place in classrooms by the start of 2025.

For the full original read, visit Fox 8 Live.