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Petaluma City Schools |  AR  6145.5  Instruction

Student Organizations And Equal Access   

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School Sponsorship

School-sponsored student organizations must be organized at the school, have a certificated advisor, be composed completely of current student body members and be approved by the Superintendent or designee in accordance with Board of Education policy. They shall hold the majority of their meetings at school and have a democratic plan for the selection of officers. Organization activities shall not conflict with the authority and responsibilities of school officials.

The principal or designee shall establish school rules governing the meetings of curriculum-related groups. Such rules may vary depending on the circumstances that apply, such as whether or not academic credit is given for participation in the group.

The Superintendent or designee shall not deny any student-initiated group access to school facilities during noninstructional time on the basis of religious, political, philosophical or any other content to be addressed at such meetings. Such meetings shall not interfere with regular school activities.

The Superintendent or designee shall identify the noninstructional time period(s) set aside for noncurriculum-related student organization meetings before or after actual classroom instruction times. Meetings may also be held during the lunch hour.

The following criteria must be met for these meetings: (20 USC 4071, 4072)

1. The meeting shall be voluntary and student-initiated.

2. There shall be no sponsorship of the meeting by the school or staff. The school or staff shall not promote, lead, or participate in a meeting. The assignment of a teacher, administrator, or other school employee to a meeting for custodial purposes shall not constitute sponsorship of the meeting.

3. Employees of the school shall be present at religious meetings only in a nonparticipatory capacity.

4. The meeting shall not materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school.

5. Nonschool persons shall not direct, conduct, control, or regularly attend activities of student groups.

School staff may be assigned voluntarily to observe meetings for purposes of maintaining order and protecting student safety. Students shall leave the meeting place in a clean, orderly and secure condition after their meetings. (20 USC 4071)

The Superintendent may deny the use of facilities to any groups that he/she believes will disrupt the school program or threaten the health and safety of students and staff. (20 USC 4071)

Meetings held within the limited open forum shall entail no expenditure of public funds beyond the incidental cost of providing the meeting space. (20 USC 4071(d))


No student shall conspire to engage in hazing, participate in hazing, or commit any act that causes or is likely to cause bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to any fellow student. Persons violating this regulation shall be subject to district discipline and penalties specified in law. (Education Code 32051)

(cf. 5144 - Discipline)


approved: June 25, 2002 Petaluma, California