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Louisiana (USA) becomes the first state to require the display of the ‘Ten Commandments’ in classrooms

The main union group denounces that the rule “will result in unconstitutional religious coercion of students”

The US state of Louisiana introduced a law this Wednesday that requires the ‘Ten Commandments’ to be displayed in all classrooms starting next year, from schools to universities, thus becoming the first state in the country to apply this measure.

The rule — signed into law by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry and approved last month by lawmakers — requires that a sign “measuring at least eleven by fourteen inches ( 28 by 35.5 centimeters)” and that it is “printed in a large and easily legible font,” reports CNN television network.

Opponents of the law have argued that a state requiring the presence of a religious text in every classroom would violate the U.S. Constitution, which says Congress may “make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Civil liberties groups announced before implementation that they would challenge the rule in court.

In fact, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the main union group in the United States, has reported that it has filed an appeal to “challenge Louisiana’s new law requiring that all public elementary schools , secondary and post-secondary schools display the ‘Ten Commandments’ in every classroom.

“The law violates long-standing Supreme Court precedent and the First Amendment (of the Constitution). More than 40 years ago, (…) the Supreme Court struck down a similar state statute, holding that the First Amendment prohibits schools from public schools to post the ‘Ten Commandments’ in classrooms. No other state requires them to be displayed in public schools,” he denounced.

The ACLU has stressed through a statement published on its website that these impositions “will result in unconstitutional religious coercion of students, who are legally required to attend school, therefore, are a captive audience for religious messages.” sponsored by the school.

“They will also send a chilling message to students and families who do not follow the state’s preferred version of the Ten Commandments that they do not belong or are welcome in our public schools,” he concluded.

Supporters of the law are leaning on the Supreme Court’s decision to give a high school football coach back his job after he was disciplined over a controversy involving on-field prayers. The court ruled that the prayers amounted to private speech protected in the Constitution and could not be restricted.

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