Photo Credit: Jondolar Schnurr / Pixabay

When public school children in Louisiana enter their classrooms sometime in the next school year, they will find something new on the wall: a poster or framed document displaying the Ten Commandments.

The bill passed the Louisiana House in a landslide vote this past April. The Louisiana Senate did the same in May.


Public schools in the state have until January 1, 2025, to comply with the law, which also requires a “context statement” explaining the text as “a prominent part of American public education” from the late 17th century through the late 20th century.

Donated posters or donated money must be used to obtain the new posters, rather than public funds.

The mandate was signed into law on Wednesday by Louisiana’s Republican Governor Jeff Landry, who told reporters he “can’t wait to be sued” over it.

“This bill mandates the display of the Ten Commandments in every classroom — public elementary, secondary and post-education schools — in the state of Louisiana, because if you want to respect the rule of law, you’ve got to start from the original lawgiver, which was Moses,” Landry said at the ceremonial signing of the bill.

The Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and several other groups immediately issued a joint statement pledging to challenge the new law.

“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.

But there is a precedent for the practice. American public elementary school children were all required in the 1950s and early 1960s to recite The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father) along with the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each school day.

When the recitation of the prayer was banned, schools were told to substitute a “moment of silence” for reflection – or prayer – instead.

State Representative Michael Bayham, who co-authored the bill, told The Washington Post on Wednesday that the new law – and the Ten Commandments – are related to historical law.

“Our sense of right and wrong is based on the Ten Commandments,” Bayham said. “The Ten Commandments is as much about civilization and right and wrong; it does not say you have to be this particular faith or that particular faith.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.