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Texas bill calls for display of 10 Commandments in public schools

A new bill from Republican Senator Phil King, if converted to law, would mandate the display of the 10 Commandments in discernable places of every classroom of Texas’ public elementary and secondary schools. As per the bill, the display of the 10 Commandments in each classroom, must be in the form of “a durable poster or framed copy.” Moreover, it would need to be a minimum of 16 x 20 inches and must be clearly designed and big enough to be visible and legible to people “with average vision from anywhere in the classroom.” If it becomes a law, then the legislation would be effective from September 1 for the school year 2023-2024.

Church Leaders reports:

If a new bill from Texas state Sen. Phil King becomes law, a poster-sized display of the 10 Commandments would need to be displayed “in a conspicuous place in each classroom” of the state’s public elementary and secondary schools.

King, a Republican, filed SB 1515, which includes a requirement as to the exact size of the posters, as well as the mandate that the posters use the “Thou shalt…” wording in each commandment. King is a member of the state Senate Education Committee, which will consider the bill this week.

Proponents of the separation of church and state say this bill oversteps in that not only does it require the public placement of Scripture, but it also allows schools to use taxpayer funds to purchase the posters.

Similar bills have failed in Texas before. But in 2005, current Texas Gov. Greg Abbott won a U.S. Supreme Court case (Van Orden v. Perry) regarding a 10 Commandments monument at the state capitol.

According to King’s bill, each classroom display of the 10 Commandments must be “a durable poster or framed copy” of at least 16 x 20 inches, “in a size and typeface that is legible to a person with average vision from anywhere in the classroom.”

The proposal adds that public schools “must” accept donations of 10 Commandments displays, “must” offer any excess donations to other schools, and may use “public funds” to meet the requirement. If passed, the legislation would go into effect September 1 for the 2023-2024 school year.

Read the full article here.

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