Texas Freedom Network Celebrates Failure of Bill Requiring Display of the Ten Commandments in Public Schools

May 24, 2023

CONTACT: Emily Witt, [email protected]

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas State House last night passed the midnight deadline to vote on Senate Bills, marking the death of a bill that would require the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools across the state. 

SB 1515 would have required that “a public elementary or secondary school […] display in a conspicuous place in each classroom of the school a durable poster or framed copy of the Ten Commandments.” 

Texas Freedom Network Executive Director Val Benavidez (she/her) issued the following response​:

“The legislative death of SB 1515 is a close call for religious freedom in Texas. The bill would have infringed upon student and teacher rights to free religious expression in a massive erosion of one of our nation’s core tenets. Families should be directing the religious education of their children, not government mandates that require specific language in our school classrooms. 

“As watchdogs for free religious expression, we are deeply concerned by the outpour of bills like SB 1515 that unconstitutionally insert religion into the public sphere. We strongly support the free expression of all faiths and will resist attempts to elevate one over all others. We believe that all Texans have the right to choose whether or not to engage with any given religion, and we will not succumb to ultraconservative attempts to impose one faith on all. We will remain vigilant against the radical right’s attacks on Texans’ religious freedoms and the first amendment.”