Friday 19th July 2024

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry signs law requiring the Ten Commandments be displayed in public classrooms

Louisiana Gov (former Atty General) Jeff Landry speaks during CPAC Texas 2022 conference at Hilton Anatole. Dallas^ TX - August 4^ 2022

Under a bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry on Wednesday, Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom.

The 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. Although the bill did not receive final approval from Landry, the time for gubernatorial action — to sign or veto the bill — has lapsed.

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. In the law’s language, the Ten Commandments are described as “foundational documents of our state and national government.” The displays must be in place in classrooms by the start of 2025, and 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”. The law also “authorizes” (does not require) the display of the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence and the Northwest Ordinance in K-12 public schools. State funds will not be used to implement the mandate, based on language in the legislation.

Opponents questioned the law’s constitutionality; in a statement on Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union said it was joining Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Freedom from Religion Foundation to file a lawsuit challenging the new Louisiana legislation: “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. “

Editorial credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

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