Texas officials have passed a bill requiring that the Bible’s Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom.
Under SB 1515, which just passed the Senate by a 17 – 12 vote, every public elementary or secondary school must prominently display “a durable copy or framed copy of the Ten Commandments” that is at least 16 inches wide and 20 inches tall.
The display must also be legible to a person with average vision from anywhere in the classroom.
The bill’s sponsor, State Sen. Phil King, said during a committee hearing on the bill that the Ten Commandments are part of American heritage and that it is time to bring them back into U.S. schools.
“[The bill] will remind students all across Texas of the importance of the fundamental foundation of America,” he said during the hearing.
King added that the legislation “prescribes the exact same language for the Ten Commandments which is on our own Capital grounds, and which has been approved by the Texas and U.S. Supreme Courts.”
He added: “And also, if you go to the U.S. Supreme Court, you’ll also notice when you walk in — as an establishment of its role in law and liberty — the Ten Commandments is posted above the Justices and all the doors. This is American tradition. If schools in Texas do not have it in their funding to do that, they can accept private dollars for this.”
TX Sen. Phil King on requiring the Ten Commandments to be displayed in schools:
The bill "prescribes the exact same language for the Ten Commandments which is on our own Capital grounds, and which has been approved by the Texas and U.S. Supreme Courts
And also, if you go to the… pic.twitter.com/6894Yta81K
— Adrian Norman (@AdrianNormanDC) April 21, 2023
Under the proposed legislation, any classroom that does not display the Ten Commandments will be required to accept any offer of a privately donated poster or framed copy that meets the display requirements.
Reaction to the bill’s passage was mixed, with conservatives hailing the vote as a victory and progressives framing the issue as religious indoctrination.
Twitter user Gunther Eagleman celebrated the legislation, writing, “The Texas Senate has approved a bill that requires all public schools to display the Ten Commandments in all classrooms…Another win for Texas!!”
BREAKING: The Texas Senate has approved a bill that requires all public schools to display the Ten Commandments in all classrooms…
Another win for Texas!!
— Gunther Eagleman™ (@GuntherEagleman) April 21, 2023
Progressive journalist Ed Krassenstein taunted Republicans, making a comparison to recent conservative complaints about grooming and indoctrination in schools.
“Talk about ‘grooming our kids,’ and ‘parental rights!’ What if there are Muslim children or Hindu children in these schools and their parents want the Bhagavad Gita or the Qur’an displayed in every classroom? What if they don’t want their kids seeing the Ten Commandments every day?” he wrote on Twitter. “What ever happened to separation of church and state? Stop forcing religious beliefs down the throats of our kids! This seems to go against everything covered in our Constitution.”
BREAKING: The Texas Senate has approved a bill that requires all public schools to display the Ten Commandments in all classrooms.
Talk about “grooming our kids,” and “parental rights!” What if there are Muslim children or Hindu children in these schools and their parents want…
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) April 21, 2023
The Ten Commandments legislation will head to the Texas house for consideration. If approved and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, the law would take effect for the 2023-24 school year.