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Louisiana law requires public schools to display the Ten Commandments

June 21, 2024
Opponents argue that the law is unconstitutional and vow to fight it in court.
Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom.

The Associated Press reports that the law signed by Gov. Jeff Landry requires a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” in all public classrooms, from kindergarten to state-funded universities.

The posters, 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.

Opponents have questioned the law’s constitutionality and vowed to pursue a legal challenge it in court. The American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation said in a joint statement that the law prevents students from getting an equal education and will keep children who have different beliefs from feeling safe at school.
 
Similar bills requiring the Ten Commandments be displayed in classrooms have been proposed in other states including Texas, Oklahoma and Utah. However, with threats of legal battles over the constitutionality of such measures, no state besides Louisiana has encted a law.
About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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