Teaching Controversial Issues in the Classroom
In participating in a rigorous academic curriculum and in training for effective citizenship, students may occasionally study controversial subjects, materials or issues. The board believes students should have an opportunity to reach their own decisions and beliefs about conflicting points of view. The study of controversial subjects, materials or issues, therefore, shall be undertaken recognizing the student’s opportunity to:
1. Study, at an appropriate developmental and maturity level, controversial subjects, materials or issues within the context of Board approved curriculum,
2. Have free access to relevant and appropriate information, including the materials that circulate freely in the community,
3. Study under competent instruction in an atmosphere free from bias and prejudice, and
4. Form and express opinions on controversial subjects, materials or issues in a non-disruptive manner, involving a variety of sources, including the home, and without jeopardizing the student’s relationship with teachers, the school or the home.
It shall be the responsibility of the teacher to refrain from advocating partisan causes, sectarian religious views or biased positions in the classroom or through teaching methods. It shall be the responsibility of the principal to ensure academic freedom is allowed but not abused in the classroom.
Proposed: October 1996
Approved: March 10, 1997
Revised: August 14, 2006