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2700 - School Prayer

 Religion in the Schools Washington County School District - Adopted 8-9-90; Revised 2-12-02: Revised 4-18-06

1. Purpose:

Pending more definitive direction by the United States Supreme Court or other acceptable authority, and subject to the right of the Board of Education to make changes it deems necessary or desirable, the following statements are to be considered the POLICIES of the Washington County School District regarding the issues of prayer at graduation exercises, free exercise of religion by individuals, freedom of speech regarding matters of religion, Deity, or personal belief.

2. Policy:

2.1. Prayer at Graduation Exercises

2.1.1. Prayer, where students are impacted, shall not be sponsored by the District or schools.

2.1.2. Student-led prayers at graduation, initiated by, and lead by students are not forbidden by this policy.

2.2. Free Exercise of Religion

The Board recognizes the right of free exercise of religion by individuals, including students, teachers, and other employees. Therefore, the District shall do nothing that will impair the rights or ability of such individuals to the free exercise of their religion in activities not sponsored by the District but held on District property. In addition, during discretionary time on campus, the same persons shall not be restricted or discouraged by school administrators and teachers in their religious expressions, including prayer.  (Leg. resolution 5-1-06)

2.3. Freedom of Speech

In accordance with freedom of religion and freedom of speech, the District shall not strike out nor inhibit any portions of graduation talks, any classroom discussion, or academic activity solely on the basis that religion, Deity, or personal belief is mentioned. In the classroom, instruction covering religious subject matter is permitted, provided the teacher does not advocate religion in general or one or more religions in particular.  (Leg. resolution 5-1-06) No regulation shall be made of the content of statements of non-District groups or individuals using school facilities regardless of participation of District employees or students in said non-District sponsored activities solely on the basis that religion, Deity, or personal belief is mentioned.

3. Procedure:

Each school is encouraged to hold a moment of silence for students to engage in personal contemplation and/or prayer on a regular, and frequent, basis, as seems appropriate to deliberations within the school and its community council.

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