TEACHING ABOUT RELIGION
The inclusion of religion in the study of history, culture, literature, music, drama, and art is essential to a full and fair presentation of the curriculum. The inclusion of religious elements is appropriate as long as the material included is intrinsic to the field of study in which it is presented and as long as it is presented objectively.
The Bossier Parish School Board’s approach to teaching about religion shall be academic, not devotional. Emphasis on religious themes in the arts, literature, and history shall be only as extensive as necessary for a balanced and thorough study of these areas. Such studies shall not foster any particular religious tenet nor demean any religious beliefs, but shall attempt to develop mutual respect among students and advance their knowledge and appreciation of the role that religious heritage plays in the social, cultural, and historic development of civilization.
The School Board may instruct students in the study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization as the study of the Bible or of religion for its literary and historic qualities, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education has been ruled consistent with the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.
School personnel shall not promote, lead, or participate in the meetings of non-curriculum-related student groups. The principal may assign staff to monitor student meetings, as needed, and may establish reasonable written guidelines for the conduct of meetings to maintain order and discipline, protect the well-being of students and faculty, and ensure that student attendance is voluntary.
EXEMPTION FROM INSTRUCTION
A parent or person standing in parental relation may remove the parent’s child from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent’s religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent’s child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity.
A parent or person standing in parental relation is not entitled to remove the parent’s child from a class or other school activity to avoid a test or to prevent the child from taking a subject for an entire semester. This policy does not exempt a child from satisfying grade level or graduation requirements in a manner acceptable to the School Board.
Ref: U.S. Constitution, Amend. I
Abington School Dist v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 225 (1963)
Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968)
Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39,42 (1980)
Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987)
Bossier Parish School Board