About

Louisiana classrooms must display the Ten Commandments

Share
Louisiana public schools must now display a copy of the Ten Commandments in every classroom by 1 January 2025.
Louisiana Ten Commandments

Public school classrooms and government-funded universities in the U.S. state of Louisiana are now legally required to display the Ten Commandments.

Legislation approved in the state legislature has received final sign-off from Louisiana’s Republican Governor Jeff Landry.

It is the first law of its kind in the U.S.

Civil rights groups are now preparing a lawsuit to challenge the decision, which they argue is “blatantly unconstitutional”.

Commandments

The Ten Commandments are moral orders central to Christianity and Judaism.

They include broad rules forbidding murder, theft, and lying as well as more specific religious directions.

Many of the Commandments are interpreted differently by various religious groups.

Louisiana

Louisiana public schools must now display a copy of the Ten Commandments in every classroom by next year.

Copies must be at least A4 in size.

The bill also requires a “context statement” be displayed alongside the Commandments, explaining their historical significance.

“I’m going home to sign a bill that places the Ten Commandments in public classrooms… and I can’t wait to be sued.”

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry at a Republican fundraiser in the days
before he approved the legislation.

Pushback

Several civil rights organisations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have announced plans to challenge the legislation in court.

The groups argue the ruling violates the U.S. Constitution, which states that laws shouldn’t stop people from practicing their religion, or prioritise one religion over another.

In a statement, the ACLU said the law forced “religious doctrine“ on students, and told “students and families who do not follow the state’s preferred version of the Ten Commandments that they do not belong”.

“Students… are legally required to attend school and are thus a captive audience for school-sponsored religious messages.”

The ACLU, responding to a Louisiana law requiring the Ten Commandments be displayed in public school classrooms.

Become smarter in three minutes

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed, for free.

Be the smart friend in your group chat

Join thousands of young Aussies and get our 5 min daily newsletter on what matters in your world.

It’s easy. It’s trustworthy. It’s free.