Louisiana Requires Display Of Ten Commandments In All Classrooms

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry signed a bill on Wednesday that mandates displaying the Ten Commandments in every public school classroom, making Louisiana the only state with such a requirement. The American Civil Liberties Union immediately announced plans to sue to block the law, citing violations of the constitutional separation of church and state and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Landry, at the signing ceremony, stated that the bill, along with others he signed, aims to “expand faith in public schools.” He remarked, “If you want to respect the rule of law, you’ve got to start from the original law-giver, which was Moses.” In the Christian and Jewish faiths, God revealed the Ten Commandments to the Hebrew prophet Moses.

Other measures Landry signed authorize the hiring of chaplains in schools, restrict teachers from mentioning sexual orientation or gender identity, and prevent schools from using a transgender student’s preferred name or pronouns without parental permission. Landry also approved bills to expand tutoring for underperforming students, enhance math skills, and reduce curriculum mandates on teachers.

Civil rights groups, including the ACLU and its Louisiana chapter, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation, announced they would file a lawsuit to challenge the law requiring the prominent display of a specific text of the Ten Commandments in all classrooms.

“No other state has such a law,” the groups stated. “Politicians have no business imposing their preferred religious doctrine on students and families in public schools.” The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from establishing religion, and in 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Stone v. Graham that a Kentucky law mandating the posting of the Ten Commandments in schools was unconstitutional.