Media Contact

Kristi Gross, ACLU of Texas

May 24, 2023

AUSTIN, Texas — Senate Bill 1515, which would have required an edited version of the Ten Commandments to be posted in every public school classroom, did not get a vote in the Texas House before the midnight deadline.

The following quote can be attributed to David Donatti, ACLU of Texas attorney:

"This bill was an unconstitutional attack on our core liberties that threatened the freedom of and from religion we hold dear as Texans. It should never have gotten this close to passage. Whether trying to place the Ten Commandments in every classroom or replacing school counselors with unlicensed chaplains, certain Texas lawmakers have launched a coordinated effort to force state-sponsored religion into our public schools. We cannot overlook their attempts to push legislation that would sanction religious discrimination and bullying. The First Amendment guarantees families and faith communities — not politicians or the government — the right to instill religious beliefs in their children."

The following quote can be attributed to Rev. Erin Walter, Unitarian Universalist minister. She wrote a blog for the ACLU of Texas this week, titled "Keep Religion Out of Texas Public Schools," that can be read in full here.

"As a religious leader, I’m disgusted by this assault on religious freedom and the right of all religious communities to conduct their own religious education. As a mother, I’m angry that these politicians believe they know how to raise Texas children better than their own parents do. As a former public school teacher, I’m appalled by this erosion of public education as a means of preparing young people to thrive in our diverse state. And as a fourth generation Texan, I refuse to accept this government intrusion into our private lives."