Policy - 5270 Religion in the Curriculum Policy

Last Revised on September 23, 2013

Based on the First Amendment protection against the establishment of religion in the schools, no Corporation employee will promote religion in the classroom or in the Corporation's curriculum, or compel or pressure any student to participate in devotional exercises. However, an understanding of religions and their effects on civilization is essential to the thorough education of young people and to their appreciation of a pluralistic society. To that end, curriculum may include, as appropriate to the various ages and attainments of the students, instruction about the religions of the world.

The Board acknowledges the degree to which a religious consciousness has permeated the arts, literature, music, and issues of morality. The instructional and resource materials approved for use in the Corporation schools frequently contain religious references or concern moral issues that have traditionally been the focus of religious concern. That such materials may be religious in nature shall not, by itself, bar their use by the Corporation. The Board directs that professional staff members employing such materials be neutral in their approach and avoid using them to advance or inhibit religion in any way.

The Board recognizes that religious traditions vary in their perceptions and doctrines regarding the natural world and its processes. The curriculum is chosen for its place in the education of the Corporation's students, not for its conformity to religious principles. Students should receive unbiased instruction in the schools, so they may privately accept or reject the knowledge thus gained, in accordance with their own religious tenets.

Accordingly, no student shall be exempted from attendance in a required course of study on the grounds that the instruction therein interferes with the free exercise of his/her religion.

In any course of study which includes instruction in health and hygiene, a student may be excused from receiving medical instruction as instruction in hygiene or sanitary science without penalty to grades or graduation providing the parent or adult student submits a written objection stating such instruction conflicts with the student’s religious teachings.

The Superintendent shall prepare administrative guidelines regarding observances and activities which have religious overtones. Such guidelines are to be in compliance with State laws and First Amendment rights.

U.S. Constitution, Amendment 1

Revised 6/28/04