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Elk Grove USD  |  BP  6145.5  Instruction

Student Organizations   

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The Board of Education believes that student-initiated organizations have an important place in students' lives. Besides extending and reinforcing the instructional program, such groups can give students practice in democratic self-government and provide wholesome social and recreational activities. Student organizations also serve to honor outstanding student achievement and to enhance school spirit and students' sense of belonging.

Since the district allows its schools to sponsor student groups not directly tied to the curriculum, these non curriculum related student organizations have the right to meet on school premises during times established for a limited open forum in accordance with provisions of the Federal Equal Access Act.

Requirements for Student Organizations

1. The Superintendent or designee shall establish criteria for school recognition of student-initiated organizations. Student-initiated organizations shall be allowed access to school facilities once they are officially recognized by the school. If the student-initiated organization complies with all criteria for school recognition, the Superintendent or designee shall approve the student organization for school recognition. The criteria are as follows:

a. The Superintendent or designee shall not refuse to recognize a student organization based on its religion, political, philosophical or any other content. The Superintendent or designee may refuse to recognize a student organization based on the reasonable belief that recognition of the group will lead to substantial disruption of the operation of the school, including individual classrooms, or the rights of other students or substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school or the classroom.

b. Student organizations must be organized at the school, have a certificated advisor employed by the district, be composed completely of current student body members and be approved by the Superintendent or designee in accordance with Board policy. The student organization shall hold the majority of its meetings at school and have a democratic plan for the selection of club officers.

Equal Access to School Facilities

1. All school recognized, student-initiated organizations shall be granted equal access to school facilities during non-instructional time without regard to their religious, political, philosophical or any other content to be addressed at such meetings. This includes, but is not limited to, equal access to the school newspaper, ASB accounts, the yearbook, the public address system, the bulletin boards and other school facilities.

2. The Superintendent or designee shall identify non-instructional time period(s) set aside for student organization meetings before or after actual classroom instructional times, so that any such meetings do not interfere with classroom instruction and other regular school activities. Meetings may also be held during lunch period.

3. Student organization activities shall not substantially conflict with the authority and responsibilities of school officials. The Superintendent or designee may prohibit any student organization activities, which are believed to substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school.

4. Student organization meetings must be voluntary and student-initiated, with no direction, control or regular attendance by non-school persons. For the purposes of this policy, regular attendance shall mean attendance at fifty percent or more of student organization meetings per school term. Student must leave the meeting place in a clean, orderly and secure condition after their meetings.

5. School staff shall not promote or be a member in student organizations. Faculty advisors shall attend every meeting for the purpose of maintaining order, protecting student safety, and offering guidance in student goals and activities.

6. Meetings held within the school's limited open forum shall entail no expenditure of public funds beyond the incidental cost of providing the meeting and activity space. For the purpose of this board policy, the funds in the ASB account shall not be considered public funds.

7. Any written or electronic publications of meetings by student organizations shall clearly state that the group is not sponsored by the school or school staff. Such publications may be posted in accordance with Board policy and state law applicable to all students.

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

52 Designation of secondary schools

53 Designation of high schools

200-262.3 Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex

38130-38138 Civic Center Act

48900 Hazing

48907 Student exercise of free expression

48930-48938 Student organizations

48950 Freedom of speech

49020-49023 Athletic programs

PENAL CODE

627-627.10 Access to school premises

CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5

2 Definitions

5531 Supervision of extracurricular activities of students

UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 20

4071-4074 Equal Access Act

7904 School prayer

7905 Boy Scouts equal access

UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 36

20101-240112 Patriotic organizations

COURT DECISIONS

Prince v. Jacoby, (2001) 303 F.3d 1074

Culbertson et al. v. Oakridge School District, (2002) 258 F.3d 1061

Good News Club et al. v. Milford Central School, (2001) 121 S.Ct. 2093

Ceniceros v. Board of Trustees of the San Diego Unified School District, (1997) 106 F.3d 878

Board of Education of Westside Community School District v. Mergens By and Through Mergens (1989, 8th Cir.) 867 F.2d 1076

Perumal et al v. Saddleback Valley Unified School District, (1988) 198 Cal. App. 3d 64

Student Coalition for Peace v. Lower Merion School District Board of Directors, (1985) 776 F.2d. 431

Hartzell v. Connell, (1984) 35 Cal. 3d 899

Management Resources:

WEB SITES

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

Policy ELK GROVE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: July 5, 1994 Elk Grove, California

revised: October 20, 2003