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Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy

Senate approves bill requiring Ten Commandments be displayed in schools

The Louisiana State Senate in Baton Rouge on March 21, 2024.
Molly Ryan
The Louisiana State Senate in Baton Rouge on March 21, 2024.

A bill requiring all public school classrooms in Louisiana to display the Ten Commandments is likely to become law after lawmakers in the Senate voted 30-8 to approve the bill.

Proponents of the bill say the Ten Commandments are a historical document and that they will provide moral guidance to students. But critics say it violates the First Amendment, which protects the freedom of religion.

The bill must go back to the House for approval of some changes before heading to Gov. Jeff Landry’s desk. If Landry signs the bill, Louisiana will be the first state to require schools to display the Ten Commandments, a move that could draw legal challenges.

Lawmakers in the Senate also approved a bill that would make it a crime to come within 25 feet of a police officer on duty if told to stay back. It heads next to Landry’s desk.

Molly Ryan is a political reporter and covers state politics from the Louisiana Capitol.