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603.10 - Religion-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 [or designee]. 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. Furthermore, the exclusion must not interfere with other school or district operations. 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.

In notifying the superintendent [or designee] the parents will abide by the following:

  1. The notice is in writing;
  2. The objection is based on religious beliefs;
  3. The objection will state which activities or studies violate their religious beliefs;
  4. The objection will state why these activities or studies violate their religious beliefs; and
  5. The objection will state a proposed alternate activity or study.

The superintendent [or designee] will have discretion to make this determination. The factors the superintendent [or designee] will consider when a student requests to be excluded from a program or activity because of religious beliefs include, but are not limited to:

  1. Staff available to supervise a student who wishes to be excluded;
  2. Space to house the student while the student is excluded;
  3. Available superintendent-approved [or designee-approved] alternative course of study or activity while the student is excluded;
  4. Number of students who wish to be excluded;
  5. Whether allowing the exclusion places the school or district in a position of supporting a particular religion; and
  6. Whether the program or activity is required for promotion to the next grade level or for graduation.

Adopted: 8/89
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21; 2/24
Revised: 1/10
Related Policy: 603.6; 603.9; 603.9-R
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 256.11(6); 279.8
IASB Reference: 604.05