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

Student Expression of Religious Viewpoints

The District shall treat a student's voluntary expression of a religious, political, educational, or other viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner the District treats a student's voluntary expression of a secular, religious, or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject and may not discriminate against the student based on a religious, political, or other viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject.

Student Speakers at Nongraduation Events

The District hereby creates a limited public forum for student speakers at all school events at which a student is to publicly speak. For each speaker, the District shall set a maximum time limit reasonable and appropriate to the occasion.

Introductory Speakers

Student speakers may introduce:

Varsity football games played within the District;

Opening announcements and greetings for the school day; and

Other athletic or nonathletic events such as assemblies and pep rallies designated by the campus principals in writing and periodically reviewed and approved by the Board.

The forum shall be limited in the manner provided by this section on nongraduation events.

Eligibility and Selection

Only those students in the highest two grade levels of the school at which the student is publicly speaking and who hold one of the following positions of honor based on neutral criteria are eligible to participate as a speaker in a limited public forum:

Officer or captains of school-sponsored groups.

Class officers.

Officers of the National Honor Society and other honor societies.

Officers of the student government.

Volunteers.

An eligible student shall be notified of the student's eligibility, and a student who wishes to participate as an introducing speaker shall submit his or her name to the campus principal during an announced period of not less than three days.

The announced period shall occur at the beginning of the school year and at the beginning of the second semester. The names of the volunteering student speakers shall be randomly drawn until all names have been selected, and the names shall be listed in the order drawn.

A student's eligibility to participate as a speaker in a limited public forum shall be revoked as a result of disciplinary actions involving the Student Code of Conduct Misbehavior Phase II or higher, which results in a disciplinary placement during the school year. Disciplinary placement includes in-school suspension (ISS), out of school suspension (OSS), District Discipline Alternative Educational Placement (DAEP), Juvenile Justice Alternative Educational Placement (JJAEP), and expulsion.

Assignment of Introductory Speakers

Each selected student shall be matched chronologically to the event for which the student shall give the introduction. The list of student speakers shall be chronologically repeated as needed, in the same order. If no students volunteer or if the selected speaker declines or becomes ineligible and there are no other eligible students, no student introduction will be made at the event.

The campus shall repeat the selection process each semester. Any student who, subsequent to being listed as an eligible student under this policy, engages in any act of misconduct that results in disciplinary placement or suspension from participation in an athletic or nonathletic event for a period of time in excess of three school days shall be removed from the list of eligible speakers for the remainder of the school year, and the list matching students to the events to be introduced will be adjusted accordingly.

Other Student Speakers

Certain students who have attained special positions of honor in the school have traditionally addressed school audiences from time to time as a tangential component of their achieved positions of honor, such as the captains of various sports teams, student council officers, class officers, homecoming kings and queens, prom kings and queens, and the like, and have attained their positions based on neutral criteria. Nothing in this policy eliminates the continuation of the practice of having these students, irrespective of grade level, address school audiences in the normal course of their respective positions.

The District shall create a limited public forum for the speakers and shall treat a student's voluntary expression of a religious, political, or other viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner the District treats a student's voluntary expression of a secular, religious, or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject and may not discriminate against the student based on the religious, political, or other viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject.

Content of Student Introductions

The subject of the student introductions and expression must be related to the purpose of the event and to the purpose of marking the opening of the event; honoring the occasion, the participants, and those in attendance; bringing the audience to order; and focusing the audience on the purpose of the event. A student must stay on the subject, and the student may not engage in obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, or indecent speech. The District shall treat a student's voluntary expression of a religious, political or other viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner the District treats a student's voluntary expression of any secular, religious, or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject and may not discriminate against the student based on a religious, political, or other viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject.

Disclaimer

For as long as there is a need to dispel confusion over the nonsponsorship of the student's speech, at each event in which a student shall deliver an introduction, a disclaimer shall be stated in written or oral form, or both, such as, "The student giving the introduction for this event is a volunteering student selected on neutral criteria to introduce the event. The content of the introduction is the private expression of the student and does not reflect the endorsement, sponsorship, position, or expression of the District."

Student Speakers at Graduation Ceremonies

Opening and Closing Remarks

The District hereby creates a limited public forum consisting of an opportunity for a student to speak to begin graduation ceremonies and another student to speak to end graduation ceremonies. For each speaker, the District shall set a maximum time limit reasonable and appropriate to the occasion.

The forum shall be limited in the manner provided by this section on student speakers at graduation. [See also FMH(LEGAL)]

Eligibility

Only students who are graduating and who hold one of the following neutral criteria positions of honor shall be eligible to use the limited public forum: senior class officers and the officers of the student council.

The selection of students to use the limited public forum during the opening and closing remarks shall be in the following order: senior class president/student council president; senior class vice president/student council vice president; senior class treasurer/student council treasurer; senior class secretary/student council secretary. A student who shall otherwise have a speaking role in the graduation ceremonies is ineligible to give the opening and closing remarks. Should additional student speakers be required, a pooling of student speakers will be enacted whereby the names of the students shall be randomly drawn.

Students are not eligible if they were in a disciplinary placement during the school year.

Content of Opening and Closing Remarks

The topic of the opening and closing remarks must be related to the purpose of the graduation ceremony and to the purpose of marking the opening and closing of the event; honoring the occasion, the participants, and those in attendance; bringing the audience to order; and focusing the audience on the purpose of the event.

Other Student Graduation Speakers

In addition to the students giving the opening and closing remarks, the valedictorian and salutatorian may have speaking roles at graduation ceremonies.

For each speaker, the District shall set a maximum time limit reasonable and appropriate to the occasion and to the position held by the speaker. For this purpose, the District creates a limited public forum for these students to deliver the addresses. The subject of the addresses must be related to the purpose of the graduation ceremony, marking and honoring the occasion, honoring the participants and those in attendance, and the student's perspective on purpose, achievement, life, school, graduation, and looking forward to the future.

The student must stay on the subject, and the student may not engage in obscene, vulgar, offensively lewd, or indecent speech. The District shall treat a student's voluntary expression of a religious, political, educational, or other viewpoint, if any, on an otherwise permissible subject in the same manner the District treats a student's voluntary expression of a secular, religious, or other viewpoint on an otherwise permissible subject and may not discriminate against the student based on a religious, political, or other viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject.

Disclaimer

A written disclaimer shall be printed in the graduation program that states, "The students who shall be speaking at the graduation ceremony were selected based on neutral criteria to deliver messages of the students' own choices. The content of each student speaker's message is the private expression of the individual student and does not reflect any position or expression of the District or the Board of Trustees, or the District's administration, or employees of the District, or the views of any other graduate. The contents of these messages were prepared by the student volunteers, and the District refrained from any interaction with student speakers regarding the student speakers' viewpoints on permissible subjects."

Religious Expression in Class Assignments

Students may express the students' beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of the students' submission. Homework and classroom work shall be judged by ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance and against other legitimate pedagogical concerns identified by the school. Students may not be penalized or rewarded on account of religious content. If a teacher's assignment involves writing a poem, the work of a student who submits a poem in the form of a prayer (for example, a psalm) should be judged on the basis of academic standards, including literary quality, and not penalized or rewarded on account of its religious content.

Freedom to Organize Religious Groups and Activities

Students may organize prayer groups, religious clubs, "see you at the pole" gatherings, and other religious, political, educational, or similar gatherings before, during, and after school to the same extent that students are permitted to organize other noncurricular student activities and groups. [See FNAB(LOCAL)] Religious, political, educational, and other groups must be given the same access to school facilities for assembling as is given to other noncurricular groups, without discrimination based on the religious, political, educational, and other content of the group's expression. If student groups that meet for nonreligious activities are permitted to advertise or announce the groups' meetings, for example, by advertising in a student newspaper, putting up posters, making announcements on a student activities bulletin board or public address system, or handing out leaflets, school authorities may not discriminate against groups that meet for prayer or other religious or political speech. School authorities may disclaim sponsorship of noncurricular groups and events, provided they administer the disclaimer in a manner that does not favor or disfavor groups that meet to engage in prayer, political, educational, or other religious speech.

Irving ISD

FNA(LOCAL)-X

LDU 2007.03

DATE ISSUED: 9/19/2007