6:078 Cultural, Ethnic and Religious Themes in our Educational Program

We believe that it is our responsibility to foster mutual understanding and respect for the rights of all individuals regarding their beliefs, values and customs. In pursuing this goal, the Board of Education recognizes that we have a diverse community with a variety of cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. The Board also recognizes and supports the inclusion of cultural, ethnic and religious literature, music, drama and the arts in the curriculum and in school activities, so long as such inclusion reinforces our secular educational goal of advancing student knowledge about our society’s cultural, ethnic and religious diversity. While we are cognizant of the special and traditional significance of seasonal observances and religious holidays, the Board of Education does not promote, sponsor or endorse any religious view or belief; nor does it inhibit non-disruptive individual expressions of any religious view or belief.

Seasonal observances and holiday celebrations may be appropriate formats for instruction and demonstration of the social, cultural, historical, and religious elements of our community. Through our instructional programs, we shall seek to broaden our student’s understanding of, and respect for, the many beliefs and customs stemming from our diverse multicultural community’s religious, racial, ethnic and cultural heritage.

While one cannot study the richness of civilization without studying about religion, it is essential that those studies be conducted with sensitivity to the many religious beliefs existing within our student population; they must also remain consistent with the law as interpreted by State and federal courts in accordance with the Constitution of the United States. Programs which teach about religion and its role in the social and historical development of civilization and in the social and political context of world events do not violate the religious neutrality of the public schools. The School District may teach about but not promote a particular religion. The inclusion of religious themes in the study of the arts, literature and history shall be only as extensive as necessary for a balanced and comprehensive study of these areas.

Date Adopted: 02/28/2006