BATON ROUGE, La. (NEWSnet/AP) — Civil liberties groups filed a lawsuit Monday challenging Louisiana’s new law that requires the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom.

Opponents of the measure, signed into law by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry last week, had long warned of an impending lawsuit to fight the legislation that they say is unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs in the suit include parents of Louisiana public school children, the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Under the new law, all public K-12 classrooms and state-funded universities will be required to display a poster-sized version of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” next year.

Opponents argue that the law is a violation of separation of church and state and that the display will isolate students, especially those who are not Christian.

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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