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Legislator hoping to re-instill requirement for Ten Commandments to be displayed in all public school classrooms

4 months 1 week 12 hours ago Monday, March 11 2024 Mar 11, 2024 March 11, 2024 6:09 PM March 11, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The Ten Commandments in Louisiana classrooms could be making a comeback. 

With Governor Landry's first regular legislative session beginning Monday, education is one of the focal points among the legislature. House Bill 71, could require all public schools — primary, secondary and postsecondary institutions — to display the Ten Commandments in each classroom.

In 1980, the United States Supreme Court struck down a Kentucky law requiring the posting of the Ten Commandments.

"When I went to school, we had the Ten Commandments in our classrooms," State Representative Kathy Edmonston said. "We want to restore as much freedom to be able to have morality is what it really is. The Ten Commandments is about morality. I wouldn’t say that it's about religion. Shall not murder, shall not lie, shall not steal; you know what I’m saying? We just believe that it's time to put that back into our classrooms."

The bill requires the Ten Commandments to be printed on an 11-by-14-inch poster or framed document,  in a large and easily readable format and must be the central focus of the poster or framed document.

The two co-authors of the bill, Edmonston and State Representative Dodie Horton, were successful in passing through House Bill 8, which outlined that the words "In God We Trust" are required to be displayed in all state classrooms. Edmonston said the plan all along has been for House Bill 71 to follow in legislation after the approval of House Bill 8.

"We’re just restoring what used to be," Edmonston said. "We think it's time because again, looking around at our country, even our world, it's looking pretty dim ... We can look around our country, and we can see that there is lawlessness and there is rebellion and our young people are a part of that. That’s why we just had a two-week crime session."

While the Ten Commandments do stem from the Bible, policymakers believe that the law has less to do with religion and more to do with morality: what is right and what is wrong.

"If you look at the Ten Commandments, there’s nothing religious. Should we steal? Should we murder? Should we covet? Those are just principles people should live by," Edmonston said. Her co-author, Horton, believes the same.

"Our national motto doesn’t teach a particular religion, neither does the Ten Commandments. It teaches a moral law that all of our laws are based upon and built upon, and so it doesn’t you know, force you to be religious in any way," Horton said.

The Ten Commandments sit chiseled into the walls of the U.S. Supreme Court. Edmonston believes that if those standards sit within United States courthouses, then they very well should sit inside classrooms.

"I just believe if a child is in a classroom and obviously their eyes are wandering all the time, I'm hoping that they are looking at those from time to time and they see that that's what they say: Thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal. I’m just hoping that that will make a difference."

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