BATON ROUGE, La. (NEWSnet/AP) — Louisiana has become the first state to require in recent years that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom.

The GOP-drafted legislation mandates that a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” be required in all public classrooms, from kindergarten to state-funded universities. Although the bill did not receive final approval from Republican Gov. Jeff Landry, the deadline for him to either to sign or veto the bill has lapsed.

Opponents question the law’s constitutionality, warning that lawsuits are likely to follow.

Proponents say the purpose of the measure is not solely religious, but that it has historical significance. In the law’s language, the Ten Commandments are described as “foundational documents of our state and national government.”

The displays, which will be paired with a four-paragraph “context statement” describing how the Ten Commandments “were a prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries,” must be in place in classrooms by the start of 2025.

The posters would be paid for through donations. State funds will not be used to implement the mandate, based on language in the legislation.

The law also “authorizes” — but does not require — the display of the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence and the Northwest Ordinance in K-12 public schools.

Similar bills requiring the Ten Commandments be displayed in classrooms have been proposed in other states including Texas, Oklahoma and Utah. However, no state besides Louisiana has had success in making the bills into current law.

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