Louisiana to require Ten Commandments in every classroom

All public schools will be required to display the Ten Commandments under a new law.

Louisiana has become the first state to require the display of the Ten Commandments in every public school classroom following the signing of a bill by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry.

The legislation mandates a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in large, easily readable font, to be placed in all public classrooms from kindergarten to state-funded universities.


The big picture: While opponents question the law’s constitutionality and foresee potential lawsuits, proponents argue that the mandate is not purely religious but has historical significance, describing the Commandments as foundational documents of state and national government.

  • The displays, accompanied by a four-paragraph context statement highlighting the Commandments’ historical presence in American public education, must be in place in classrooms by the beginning of 2025, funded through donations without the use of state funds.
  • The new law in Louisiana also mentions the authorization (but not the requirement) of displaying the Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, and the Northwest Ordinance in K-12 public schools.

Elsewhere: Other states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Utah have proposed similar bills requiring the display of the Ten Commandments in classrooms, but Louisiana is the first to succeed in making it law despite previous legal battles over the issue.

Go deeper: Past legal challenges over displaying the Ten Commandments in classrooms include a 1980 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that deemed a similar Kentucky law unconstitutional for violating the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution.

  • The controversial law in Louisiana, a state known for its conservative values, comes as part of a new era of conservative leadership under Gov. Landry, following a change in leadership from a two-term Democratic governor to a Republican.
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