Home‎ > ‎Policies‎ > ‎8000_Operations‎ > ‎

8800 Policy_Religious_Patriotic_Ceremonies and Observations

Decisions of the United States Supreme Court have made it clear that it is not the province of a public school to
advance or inhibit religious beliefs or practices. Under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution,
this remains the inviolate province of the individual and the church of his/her choice. The rights of any minority, no
matter how small, must be protected. No matter how well intended, either official or unofficial sponsorship of
religiously-oriented activities by the school are offensive to some and tend to supplant activities which should be
the exclusive province of individual religious groups, churches, private organizations, or the family.
 
District staff members shall not use prayer, religious readings, or religious symbols as a devotional exercise or in
an act of worship or celebration.
 
The District shall not function as a disseminating agent for any person or outside agency for any religious or anti-
religious document, book, or article. Distribution of such materials on District property by any party shall be in
 
The Board acknowledges that it is prohibited from adopting any policy or rule respecting or promoting an
establishment of religion or prohibiting any student from the free, individual, and voluntary exercise or expression of
the student’s religious beliefs. However, such exercise or expression may be limited to lunch periods or other non-
instructional time periods when students are free to associate.
 
Observance of religious holidays through devotional exercises or acts of worship is also prohibited. Acknowledgement of, explanation of, and teaching about religious holidays of various religions is encouraged.
Celebration activities involving nonreligious decorations and use of secular works are permitted, but it is the
responsibility of all faculty members to ensure that such activities are strictly voluntary, do not place an
atmosphere of social compulsion or ostracism on minority groups or individuals, and do not interfere with the
regular school program.
 
The Board shall not conduct or sanction a baccalaureate service in conjunction with graduation ceremonies.
 
The Board shall not include religious invocations, benedictions, or formal prayer at any school-sponsored event.
 
The flag of the United States shall be raised above each school and/or at other appropriate places during all school
sessions, weather permitting. The flag shall be raised before the opening of school and taken down at its close
every day.
 
Professional staff members are authorized to lead students in the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem at
an appropriate time each school day. No student may be compelled against the student’s objections or those of
the student’s parents to recite the pledge or sing the national anthem.
 
Every school in the District shall offer the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem each school day in grades 1
through 12. The Superintendent shall develop administrative guidelines which ensure that any staff member who
conducts this activity does it at an appropriate time, in an appropriate manner, and with due regard to the need to
protect the rights and the privacy of a nonparticipating student.
 
 
118.06(2), Wis. Stats.
20 U.S.C. 4071 et seq.
 
 Approved/Adopted:  July 13, 2009
ĉ
Shari Weinstock,
Aug 9, 2011, 1:20 PM