Administrative Guideline - 8800a Religious Activities/Ceremonies

A great deal of professional judgment is needed to ensure that Corporation policy complies with constitutional and legal safeguards for the practice of religion. A major guideline to follow is a four-part test. Each activity which may appear to be of a religious nature or use materials, rituals, or symbols which may be otherwise associated with a religion must meet all four (4) of the following conditions:

A.     Does it serve the educational purpose and goals of the Corporation?

B.     Is the purpose of the activity secular?

C.     Will its effect neither advance nor inhibit a religion?

D.     Will it avoid excessive entanglements between the school and a religion?

This guideline applies to activities and programs at all levels, particularly those that take place at traditional holiday seasons such as Christmas and Easter.

Prior to planning or conducting an activity, it would be well to review the Corporation's two (2) policies dealing with religious matters -- Board Policy 2270 and Board Policy 8800. If a teacher has any question about the propriety of the activity, s/he should consult with the principal prior to making a decision.