POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Proposed bill would require public schools to display The 10 Commandments

Jan 17, 2024, 12:07 PM | Updated: Jan 18, 2024, 7:29 pm

A gavel sits in front of a book....

Mike Peterson, R-North Logan, proposed a bill that would require Utah public schools to display The 10 Commandments in a prominent location. (Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would display The 10 Commandments in every public school in Utah is circulating at the 2024 legislative session.

Rep. Mike Peterson, R-North Logan is the sponsor.  H.B.269 would require Utah public schools to display The 10 Commandments in a prominent location. 

The bill also contains a size requirement. The 10 Commandments would need to be displayed on the size of a typical poster, which is 16 by 20 inches. 

If a school doesn’t have a copy or refuses to purchase one, the bill would require it to accept a donated copy of The 10 Commandments. 

If H.B. 269 passes, the legislature’s website says it would go into effect on July 1, 2024. 

Is the 10 Commandments bill legal? Skordas weighs in

KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas told KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic that the bill is “certainly not legal and it’s certainly not constitutional.” 

Skordas said that the bill appears to be an establishment of religion. Amendment One of the U.S. Constitution reads that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” 

Additionally, Skordas said the bill is unlikely to pass. 

Skordas said the argument could be made that the commandments are a form of speech. However, he said that during the country’s history, the document has become equated with religion. 

Should the bill pass, Skordas said that it could go further. “There could be other symbols, other statements, other references to religions or specific religions that maybe some people might find objectionable,” said Skordas. 

Mariah Maynes contributed to this article. 

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Proposed bill would require public schools to display The 10 Commandments