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6144 Controversial Issues

Adoption Date: 05/13/1965  Revised: 04/5/2001
6000 - Instruction Curriculum
6144 Controversial Issues

The Board of Education believes that the consideration of controversial issues has a legitimate place in the instructional programs of the schools. A controversial issue is a topic on which opposing points of view have been promulgated by responsible opinion, or one subject to interpretation as obscene, profane, doctrinaire or grossly inappropriate, each in relation to the age and level of maturity of the students.

The Board of Education will permit the introduction and appropriate educational use of controversial issues, provided that their use in the instructional program:

  1. Is approved in the appropriate course guide;

  2. Is related to the instructional goals of the course of student and level of maturity of the students;

  3. Does not tend to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view;

  4. Is conducted in the spirit of scholarly inquiry. 

When controversial issues have not been specified in the curriculum guide, the Board of Education will permit the instructional use of only those issues which have been recommended by the Superintendent.

When controversial issues are discussed in the classroom, such discussion shall be conducted in an objective and dispassionate manner, presenting the varying opinions on the controversial topic and shall not disrupt the educational process. The age of maturity of the students, as well as the goals of the Board of Education and the appropriate curriculum guide, shall be taken into account when introducing controversial topics and related materials in the classroom.

During the presentation of a controversial topic, a teacher may express a personal opinion, but should identify it as such, and must acknowledge the rights and privileges of others to hold and express differing opinions.

Before a guest speaker is permitted to address the students, approval must be granted by the Building Principal, who must be informed of the scheduling of all guest speakers, including the materials to be used in the presentation (including but not limited to pamphlets, books, videos), at least three (3) days prior to the presentation. The Building Principal may request a sample of any such material prior to making a decision regarding use in the classroom.