7300 R1 - Procedures Regarding Religion



1. Instruction Relating to Religion

Religious instruction or indoctrination in the schools of the district is prohibited. Factual and objective teaching about religion may be included in classroom instruction where such is related to the district's educational goals and student learning objectives, provided that such teaching does not:

a. take the form of religious instruction, worship, exercise, or persuasion;

b. disparage or promote religion, or the absence of religion, or any particular belief system;

c. question the religious belief, or absence of religious belief, of any student; or

d. require a student to declare a religious preference;

2. Religious Holiday Observances

The recognition of holidays having religious significance is permissible if such recognition is free of devotional elements and does not have the effect of promoting any religion or celebrating any religiously based holiday. The historical and contemporary values and the origins of religious holidays may be explained in an unbiased and objective manner without sectarian indoctrination. Any musical or dramatic selections performed by students which have a religious origin or significance shall be selected on the basis of their artistic and educational value and/or traditional secular usage and shall be presented together with other works which are nonreligious in nature. Displays in a religious context, of religious objects or symbols, such as crosses, nativity scenes, or stars of David, are prohibited.

3. Assemblies

Assemblies shall neither inhibit nor advance religion. Programs that convey a religious or devotional message are prohibited, including, but not limited to, presentations by persons who identify themselves as religious believers and extol the benefits of religious beliefs. This prohibition does not preclude the presentation of musical or dramatic programs which may include selections having a religious origin or significance as a part of a balanced program.

4. Student Absences Due to Religious Observances

a. The schools shall cooperate with parents in determining when students should be excused for religious observances.

b. Students shall not be penalized or deprived of make up opportunities for such absences.

5. Student Expression of Religious Belief

a. Students may wear religious attire or symbols provided that the educational process is not thereby substantially disrupted.

b. The district shall not conduct, sponsor, endorse, or encourage any student to recite or participate in prayers or other form of devotional activity. The district shall not limit the right of an individual student to engage in silent prayer during times when the student is not required to be engaged in educational activities.

6. Baccalaureate Services

Neither the district nor any school shall sponsor or plan any baccalaureate program which is religious in nature or contains religious elements. Students and their families who are interested in such a program may plan and organize baccalaureate exercises subject to the following conditions:

a. no school district funds may be used for any baccalaureate program;

b. student and staff participation in baccalaureate shall be voluntary; and

c. groups planning baccalaureate services may rent and utilize school facilities under terms and conditions prescribed by district policy and/or regulations.

7. Use of School Facilities by Religious Groups

a. Religious services shall not be held in school facilities during school hours, or in connection with any school sponsored or school related activity.

b. Religious groups may rent and utilize school facilities under terms and conditions prescribed by district policy and/or regulations. Use of district facilities by such groups shall be limited to times when students are not present as part of the regular school program and shall otherwise be clearly separate from school sponsored or school related activities so that the district does not support, or appear to support, the practice of religion.

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