The Texas Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would require the prominent display of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms, reigniting debate over the role of religion in schools and parental rights.

He extentSponsored by Republican State Sen. Phil King, it requires every public elementary or secondary school to «display in a conspicuous place in every classroom of the school a durable poster or framed copy of the Ten Commandments» beginning in September.

The Senate approved the bill in a 17-12 vote along party lines. He now addresses the House led by the Republican Party.

The Senate this week passed two more Republican-sponsored bills focused on religion in schools.

One measure would allow schools to adopt policies requiring time for students and employees to engage in prayer and Bible reading.

The other, sponsored by state Sen. Tan Parker and garnering broad bipartisan support, would guarantee the rights of school employees to «participate in religious speech or prayer while on duty.»

Parker’s bill echoes a June US Supreme Court ruling that affirmed the right of a former Washington state high school football coach to pray on the field immediately after the parties..

The bills are the latest efforts in Texas to push for demonstrations of religion in public school classrooms. In 2021, the state enacted a law require schools to show “In God We Trust” signs if donated or purchased with private donations.

in a statement On Thursday night, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said, “I will never stop fighting for religious freedom in Texas. Allowing the Ten Commandments and prayer to return to our public schools is one step we can take to ensure that all Texans have the right to freely express their sincerely held religious beliefs.»

Opponents, however, said the state should not get involved.

John Litzler, public policy director for the Christian Living Commission and general counsel for Texas Baptists, told a Senate committee hearing this month that it was the responsibility of the church and other religions to “educate children about their religious freedom, not the duty of the state.”

King and Parker did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday night.

The approval of the three bills comes shortly after the Senate. approved legislation known as the Parents’ Bill of Rights that would allow $8,000 a year for parents to cover the cost of homeschooling or private school tuition if they want to take their children out of public school.