ACLU Condemns Local School District's Decision to Post 10 Commandments in School Offices

November 11, 1999 12:00 am

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States


LOS ANGELES — The decision this week by the Val Verde school board to ignore the U.S. Constitution and post copies of the Ten Commandments on school house walls is deeply troubling.

The Supreme Court has said that such action violates the religious freedom guarantees of the First Amendment. Nevertheless, the school board has proclaimed that it is free to disregard the law of the land. Educators should teach our children that, in this country, it is the rule of law that governs, not the whims of administrators and bureaucrats.

The Val Verde school board’s action serves no educational purpose. It is about religious indoctrination, pure and simple. It is not about integrating the Bible, including the Ten Commandments, into the curriculum in an objective manner as part of a discussion on the history of religion, comparative religion, or ethical values – a practice the Supreme Court allows.

Make no mistake about it — the school board will be sued, and it will lose. But the real losers here are the students in Val Verde. The taxpayer funds that the school board will waste in lawsuits could be used for textbooks, computers, and other instructional materials.

Unfortunately, the school board has placed the politics of symbolism over the educational needs of its students and decided to divide them along religious lines.

By completing this form, I agree to receive occasional emails per the terms of the ACLU’s privacy policy.

The Latest in Religious Liberty

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty issue image

The ACLU strives to safeguard the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty by ensuring that laws and governmental practices neither promote religion nor interfere with its free exercise.