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Texas Bill Requiring Display Of Ten Commandments In Public Schools Fails To Pass


Texas Bill Requiring Display Of Ten Commandments In Public Schools Fails To Pass

A bill aimed at mandating the display of the Ten Commandments in every classroom of Texas public schools failed to pass.

Passed by the Texas Senate in April, Senate Bill 1515 would have required the placement of a poster featuring the Ten Commandments in each classroom. Republican Phil King, the bill’s sponsor, asserted that it would serve as a reminder to “students all across Texas of the importance of the fundamental foundation of America.”

Before the conclusion of the legislative session next Monday, the Texas House of Representatives was required to vote on the bill by Tuesday. However, the bill was not brought to a vote, effectively rendering it inactive for this session.

The proposed legislation was among various attempts, some successful, to introduce Christianity into public schools. Alongside SB 1515, state senators also passed SB 1396, which would have mandated designated time for Bible reading by students and staff. However, this bill also failed to pass the House during the session. These bills followed a 2021 policy that mandated the display of “In God We Trust” signs in schools.

During a Senate committee hearing in April, John Litzler, general counsel for the Texas Baptists Christian Life Commission, voiced opposition to using taxpayer money for religious education. Litzler stated, “I should have the right to introduce my daughter to the concepts of adultery and coveting one’s spouse. It shouldn’t be one of the first things she learns to read in her kindergarten classroom.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas labeled the legislation a reflection of “failed priorities and failed leadership.” They emphasized that the U.S. Constitution explicitly prohibits the entanglement of church and state, while the Texas Constitution guarantees freedom of worship. David Donatti, an attorney for the ACLU of Texas, expressed the need for people of all faiths and creeds, as well as those who choose not to belong to any religion, to collectively oppose the state’s endorsement of a particular religion.

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