New Louisiana Law States The Ten Commandments Must Be Displayed in All Public Classrooms

The posters are required to be in the classrooms of kindergarten through state-funded universities by the start of 2025

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of public school classroom


Stock image of public school classroom

Louisiana public schools will be required to display the Ten Commandments in every classroom per a new law.

Republican Gov. Jeff Landry signed the bill on Wednesday, June 19, reports the Associated Press and The New York Times.

The bill instructs educators to install a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” in classrooms. This would be implemented in all public classrooms, from kindergarten to state-funded universities. The posters are required to be in classrooms by the start of 2025.

Supporters of the new bill argue that the signage's purpose is due to historical significance, not just religious significance. The Ten Commandments are described in the law as “foundational documents of our state and national government.”

<p>Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg via Getty</p> Jeff Landry in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, March 30, 2023.

Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg via Getty

Jeff Landry in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, March 30, 2023.

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Whereas opponents of the bill expressed concern over the law’s constitutionality, and have cautioned supporters that lawsuits will likely arise. Shortly after Landry signed the bill, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Freedom From Religion Foundation stated there would be lawsuits challenging it in an ACLU press release.

“All students should feel safe and welcome in our public schools. H.B. 71 would undermine this critical goal and prevent schools from providing an equal education to all students, regardless of faith. We will not allow Louisiana lawmakers to undermine these religious-freedom rights,” read the June 19 statement.

Michael Smith/Staff/Getty Images The Ten Commandments.
Michael Smith/Staff/Getty Images The Ten Commandments.

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Alongside the posters, there will be a four-paragraph “context statement” describing how the Ten Commandments “were a prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries,” per the Associated Press.

Donations, not state funds, will be used to implement the law.

Teachers in K-12 public schools are also now authorized, but not required, to display the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence and the Northwest Ordinances.

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Louisiana is the first state to successfully require the display of the Ten Commandments. Within the past year, Texas, Oklahoma and Utah have all proposed similar bills. However, none of the aforementioned states have been able to pass the bill due to threats of legal battles over its constitutionality, per the Associated Press.

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