Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

FFRF: N.D. law unconstitutional

Vol. 38 No. 04 May 2021

A new North Dakota law that seeks to impose the Ten Commandments on the state’s public schoolchildren is unconstitutional, declares FFRF.

The bill originally permitted Ten Commandments stand-alone displays “in the school and in a classroom.” The final version that Gov. Doug Burgum signed was changed to only allow schools to place the biblical displays “with a display of other historical documents in the school and in a classroom.” The Supreme Court has explicitly barred any Ten Commandments display in a public school.

Knowing that such Ten Commandments displays violate the law, legislators are including a provision that purports to remove all legal damages from school districts, administrators and board members for erecting such displays. This provision is misleading, since schools could still be subject to injunctions that would lead to the school paying for legal fees, and schools and school officials would still be subject to legal liability under federal law.

This law would open districts up to expensive and unnecessary legal liability.

FFRF will challenge any displays that go up in schools. Any families in schools where these Ten Commandments displays go up should reach out to FFRF at ffrf.org/legal/report.