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603.8 RELIGIOUS-BASED EXCLUSION FROM A SCHOOL PROGRAM

Parents who wish to have their child excluded from a school program because of religious beliefs must inform the superintendent.  The board authorizes the administration to allow the exclusion if it is not disruptive to the education program and it does not infringe on a compelling state or educational interest.  Further, the exclusion must not interfere with other school district operations.

 

In notifying the superintendent, the parents will abide by the following:

  • The notice will be in writing;
  • The objection will be based on religious beliefs;
  • The objection will state which activities or studies violate their religious beliefs;
  • The objection will state why these activities or studies violate their religious beliefs; and
  • The objection will state a proposed alternate activity or study.

The superintendent will have discretion to make this determination.  The factors the superintendent will consider when a student requests to be excluded from a program or activity because of religious beliefs include, but are not limited to, whether there is staff available to supervise a student who wishes to be excluded; whether there is space to house the student while the student is excluded; the availability of a superintendent-approved alternative course of study or activity while the student is excluded; the number of students who wish to be excluded; whether allowing the exclusion places the school in a position of supporting a particular religion; and whether the program or activity is required for promotion to the next grade level or for graduation.

 

Students who are allowed to be excluded from a program or activity which violates their religious beliefs are required to do an alternate supervised activity or study.  The superintendent shall determine the alternate activity or study for that student.