ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION - 6141.2
Our mission is to empower students with the knowledge and habits of mind necessary to meet the challenge of a changing world and become contributing members of society. We believe it is entirely appropriate and necessary that schools teach about religion within a comparative framework that includes considerations of the beliefs and practices of the world’s religions, the role of religion in historic and contemporary society, as well as religious themes in art, music and literature. While we believe that understanding the role of religion often requires understanding the beliefs and practices of various religions, we are clear that the role of the school is not to espouse any particular religious view. It is the responsibility of parents and religious institutions to teach religious faith and individual beliefs.
The discussion of religion in the classroom must adhere to the following guidelines:
- The school’s study of religion should be objective, neutral, and academic rather than sectarian or devotional.
- The purpose of the discussion about religion should be to develop student awareness of world religions rather than student acceptance or belief in a particular religion.
- The discussion should involve the study of religion not the practice of religion or the observance of religious holidays or ceremonies.
- The discussion may expose students to the diversity of religious views that exist in the world but may not impose a particular religious point of view.
- The discussion may educate students about the various religions of the world but may not promote a religion or denigrate or disparage any religion and should not seek to induce or persuade a student to conform his or her behavior or conduct to a particular religious belief or practice.
Nothing in the California Education Code allows students to be excused from class attendance, based on disagreement with the curriculum, except as specified for certain topics. However, schools must be sensitive to the perspectives of students and families with regard to religious curricular content, particularly when disagreements involve stated tenets of various religions. Schools will provide alternate assessments and appropriate accommodations when deemed appropriate.
We believe that education without appropriate attention to the influence of major religions is incomplete education. We must recognize and advance the understanding that we are a pluralistic community within a democratic society. Teaching about religion is essential in building the foundation that our children will need to live successfully and better understand and appreciate the complexities of an increasingly interdependent and global society.
Adopted: April 9, 1973
Revised: December 11, 2018