FNA(LOCAL) - STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: STUDENT EXPRESSION

Religious Viewpoint

The District shall comply with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution regarding the establishment of religion and the free exercise thereof, as interpreted by the federal courts with jurisdiction over Texas, and shall not discriminate against a student based on the student's voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject.

Classroom Assignments

Homework and classroom assignments shall be judged and graded based on the teacher's academic standards of substance and relevance and other legitimate pedagogical concerns. Students shall not be penalized or rewarded on account of the religious content of their assigned work consistent with the teacher's academic standards of substance, relevance, and other pedagogical concerns.

Students may express their beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments, and the work shall be judged and graded based on the factors articulated above.

Limited Public Forum

In addition to any limited public forum established under the authority of the federal Equal Access Act [see FNAB], the District establishes a limited open forum for student speakers at all school events at which a student is to publicly speak in any official role or capacity. Student speakers at such events may voluntarily express a religious or any other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject for the occasion. Student speakers at such events shall not engage in obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, or indecent speech.

The Superintendent, in consultation with campus principals, shall annually prepare and distribute a list of all school events at which students will publicly speak in any official role or capacity, and the list shall include high school graduation exercises.

The Superintendent, in consultation with campus principals, shall develop a method using neutral criteria for selecting the students who will publicly speak in any official role or capacity at school events and graduation.

At each and every school event at which a student is to publicly speak in any official role or capacity, the District shall include an oral or written statement, or both an oral and written statement, that the student's speech does not reflect the endorsement, sponsorship, position, or expression of the District.

Religious Groups and Activities

In addition to any noncurriculum-related student groups formed and operating under the authority of the Equal Access Act [see FNAB], students at any grade level shall be permitted to initiate and organize student-only religious groups and activities before, during, or after school hours and shall be permitted the same access to school facilities and opportunities for announcements and advertising, if any, as other noncurriculum-related groups.

Role of School Employees

School employees shall have no sponsorship role in any student-initiated, noncurriculum-related group or activity, religious or otherwise, that meets in school facilities immediately before or after school or during noninstructional school hours; nor shall student-initiated, noncurriculum-related groups or activities, religious or otherwise, be permitted to have regular participation or supervision by adults who are not affiliated with the school.

School employees may be present at student-initiated, noncurriculum-related groups, activities, and meetings, religious or otherwise, held in school facilities immediately before or after school or during noninstructional school hours for the limited purpose of maintaining order and discipline, protecting the well-being of students and District property, and to assure that student attendance and participation is voluntary.

Sabinal ISD

FNA(LOCAL)-X

LDU 2008.05

DATE ISSUED: 5/29/2008