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Elk Grove USD  |  BP  6141.2  Instruction

Recognition Of Religious Beliefs And Customs   

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Instructional programs may include references to religion and may use religious literature, art, music or symbols to illustrate the subject matter being taught. Such instruction should be designed to broaden the students' understanding of social and cultural history and their tolerance for the multiple ways of life practiced by the peoples of the world. Instruction about religious holidays shall be carefully tied to these educational objectives.

Factual and objective teaching about religion must be distinguished from religious indoctrination, which is clearly forbidden in public schools. The schools may teach about religion from a historical, cultural, sociological or other educational perspective, but must not favor the beliefs and customs of any particular religion or sect over any others in such teaching.

Staff shall be highly sensitive to its obligation not to interfere with the philosophical/religious development of each student, in whatever tradition the student embraces. Schoolsponsored programs should not be, nor have the effect of being, religiously oriented or a religious celebration.

Instruction which is contrary to a student's religious beliefs and teachings may be addressed in accordance with Board Policy and Administrative Regulation 1312.2, Complaints Concerning Instructional Materials.

(cf. 5113  Absences and Excuses)

(cf. 6144  Controversial Issues)

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

38130-38138 Civic Center Act

46014 Absences for religious purposes

51511 Religious matters properly included in courses of study

51938 Right of parent/guardian to excuse from sexual health instruction

UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 20

4071-4074 Equal Access Act

6061 School prayer

7904 School prayer

COURT DECISIONS

Lassonde v. Pleasanton Unified School District, (2003, 9th Cir.) 320 F.3d 979

Cole v. Oroville Union High School District, (2000, 9th Cir.) 228 F.3d 1092

Lemon v. Kurtzman, (1971) 403 U.S. 602

Management Resources:

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PUBLICATIONS

Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, February 2003

Religion in the Public Schools: A Joint Statement of Current Law, April 1995

WEB SITES

California Department of Education: http://www.cde.ca.gov

U.S. Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

Policy ELK GROVE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: October 29, 1984 Elk Grove, California

revised: December 4, 1995