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A lawsuit has been filed challenging a new Louisiana law that mandates classrooms to display the Ten Commandments

A copy of 10 commandments is posted on the wall (Via Amelia Walker/Shutterstock)

In Louisiana, civil rights groups have filed a lawsuit on Monday to stop a new law that requires the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom. They argue the law is against the constitution.

The lawsuit includes parents of public school children in Louisiana from different religious backgrounds. They are represented by lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the law firm Simpson, Thatcher & Bartlett of New York City.

One plaintiff, Reverend Jeff Simms, a Presbyterian pastor and father of three children in Louisiana public schools, said, “This display sends a message to my children and other students that people of some religious dominations are superior to others. This is religious favoritism.”

Jeff Landry signs bills (Via Amelia Walker/Shutterstock)

The law, signed by Republican Governor Jeff Landry last week, mandates that all public K-12 classrooms and state-funded universities display a poster-sized version of the Ten Commandments next year, in a large, easily readable font.

Critics argue the law violates the separation of church and state and could make students who are not Christian feel isolated. Supporters say the Ten Commandments have historical significance and are foundational to state and national government, as stated in the law.

Plaintiff Joshua Herlands, who is Jewish and has two young children in New Orleans public schools, noted that there are different versions of the Ten Commandments. He believes the version required for classroom display does not align with his faith’s version.

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