On Tuesday, Democratic Mississippi Rep. Credell Calhoun introduced a bill that would impose strict religious requirements on teachers in the state’s public schools. Among other proposed rules, House Bill 1100 would mandate that Mississippi educators read the Ten Commandments every day in the first hour of class.
In addition to reciting the Ten Commandments at the top of every day, teachers would also be required to display the Commandments prominently (at least a poster size of 11×14 inches), along with the U.S. motto “In God We Trust,” in every classroom, school auditorium, and cafeteria. This is a clear violation of The Establishment Clause, which prohibits the federal government from supporting, financially or otherwise, a particular religion.
All school boards would also have to hold a 60-second moment of reflection at the beginning of each school day. This is the only regulation in the bill that doesn’t technically violate the separation of church and state, given that “prayer” isn’t mentioned, and a “moment of reflection” can be interpreted as non-religious.
100% unconstitutional. The Ten Commandments begin, “I am the LORD thy God…” The government has no business imposing them on citizens, let alone schoolchildren. And no, they are not the basis of American laws or government. https://t.co/1xeEhAisZj
— Andrew Seidel (@AndrewLSeidel) January 23, 2018
A Mississippi bill would require teachers to start every school day by having their students recite the Ten Commandments aloud https://t.co/Sr0JbY2Loj
— Secular Coalition for America (@seculardotorg) January 23, 2018