Policies and Regulations NEPN Code: IHAL

Religion in the Schools and at School Activities

Religion in the Curriculum
Religious institutions and orientations are central to human experience, past and present. An education excluding such a significant aspect would be incomplete. It is essential that the teaching about - and not of - religion be conducted in a factual, objective, and respectful manner.

Therefore, the practice of the Sioux Falls School District shall be as follows:

  1. The District supports the inclusion of religious literature, music, drama, and the arts in the curriculum and in school activities provided it is intrinsic to the learning experience in the various fields of study and is presented objectively.
  2. The emphasis on religious themes in the arts, literature, and history should be only as extensive as necessary for a balanced and comprehensive study of these areas. Such studies should never foster any particular religious tenets or demean any religious beliefs.
  3. Student-initiated responses to questions or assignments which reflect their beliefs or non-beliefs about a religious theme shall be accommodated. Students are free to express religious belief or non-belief in compositions, art forms, music, speech, and debate unless the conduct or speech unreasonably interferes with the ability of school officials to maintain order and discipline.

Public Appearances of Student Groups in Music and the Arts
Student groups in music and the arts will be permitted to make public appearances in the community subject to the approval of the building principal following these guidelines:

  1. Invitations may be accepted to perform before a variety of audiences within the community such as workshops, community service groups, conventions, and sectarian groups.
  2. Performances may take place in a variety of locations including shopping centers, auditoriums, meeting halls, churches, and synagogues.
  3. When performing before a sectarian audience, student groups representing the District shall not perform during, or immediately prior to or immediately following a religious service.

Prohibition of Religious Activity in Schools by School Personnel

  1. School personnel shall not organize, provide leadership, or participate in student religious organizations, clubs, or functions at any time when acting in their official capacity on school grounds or at school-sponsored activities in any location.
  2. School personnel shall not distribute religious literature in or through the schools or on school grounds except as part of academic study about religions.


Related Policies:

IMD - School Observances and Ceremonies
JJAB/JJAB-R - Limited Open Forum
KF/KF-R - Community Use of School Facilities
KI - Visitors to Schools

Regulation   Board Action (formerly 6141.2)
Approved: 12-04-78 17931  
Amended: 03-11-91 25981E  
Adopted: 01-08-01 29761  
Amended: 06-11-07 34748  
Amended: 05-27-08 35061  
Reviewed: 02-13-12 36280  
Reviewed: 02-13-17 37688