Parents, guardians, or legal custodians who wish to have their student 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 educational process 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 shall be required to do an alternate activity or study.
In notifying the superintendent [or designee] the parents, guardians, or legal custodians 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 the activities or studies violate their religious beliefs.
- The objection will state a proposed alternate activity or study.
The superintendent [or designee] will have sole 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:
- Staff available to supervise a student who wishes to be excluded.
- Space to house the student while the student is excluded.
- Available superintendent [or designee] approved alternative course of study or activity while the student is excluded.
- Number of students who wish to be excluded.
- Whether allowing the exclusion places the school or district in a position that it is supporting a particular religion.
- Whether the program or activity is required for promotion to the next grade level or for graduation.
Reviewed: 7/11; 9/12; 9/13; 2/15; 4/18; 6/21
Related Policy (Code #): 603.9; 603.9-R
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 256.11(6); 279.8
IASB Reference: 603.8; 603.8R1; 603.9; 603.9R1; 604.5; 606.2