RICHFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
STUDENT USE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL FACILITIES
The purpose of this policy is to grant equal access to secondary school facilities for students who wish to conduct a meeting during non-instructional time, pursuant to the Equal Access Act.
II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY
A. It is the policy of this school district not to deny equal access or a fair opportunity to, or to discriminate against, any students who wish to conduct a meeting, on the basis of the religious, political, philosophical, or other content of the speech at such meetings.
B. The school board has created a limited open forum for students enrolled in secondary schools during which non-curriculum-related student groups shall have equal access and a fair opportunity to conduct meetings during non-instructional time.
C. Student use of facilities under this policy does not imply school district sponsorship, approval, or advocacy of the content of the expression at such meetings.
D. The school district retains its authority to maintain order and discipline on school premises, to protect the well being of students and faculty, and to assure that attendance of students at meetings is voluntary.
E. In adopting and implementing this equal access policy, the school district will NOT:
1. influence the form or content of any prayer or other religious activity;
2. require any person to participate in prayer or other religious activity;
3. expend public funds beyond the incidental cost of providing the space for student-initiated meetings;
4. compel any school agent or employee to attend a school meeting if the content of the speech at the meeting is contrary to the beliefs of the agent or employee;
5. sanction meetings that are otherwise unlawful;
6. limit the rights of groups of students based on the size of the group;
7. abridge the constitutional rights of any person.
A. "Limited open forum" means that the school grants an offering to or opportunity for one or more non-curriculum related student groups to meet on school premises during non-instructional time.
B. "Secondary school" means any school with enrollment of pupils ordinarily in grades 7 through 12 or any portion thereof.
C. "Sponsorship" includes the act of promoting, leading, or participating in a meeting. The assignment of a school employee for custodial, observation, or maintenance of order and discipline purposes does not constitute sponsorship of the meeting.
D. "Meeting" includes activities of student groups which are permitted under a limited open forum and are not directly related to the school curriculum. Distribution of literature does not constitute a meeting protected by the Equal Access Act.
E. "Non-instructional time" means time set aside by the school before actual classroom instruction begins or after actual classroom instruction ends.
IV. FAIR OPPORTUNITY CRITERIA
Secondary schools in this school district shall uniformly provide that:
A. A meeting held pursuant to this policy is voluntary and student-initiated;
B. There is no sponsorship of the meeting by the school or its agents or employees;
C. Employees or agents of the school are present at religious meetings only in a non-participatory capacity:
D. The meeting does not materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school; and
E. Nonschool persons may not direct, control, or regularly attend activities of student groups.
V. ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES
The Superintendent is authorized to develop administrative guidelines to facilitate implementation of this policy.
ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: October 5, 1998
REVIEWED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: February 20, 2018
REAFFIRMED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: January 7, 2002
Legal References: 20 USC §4071-74 (Equal Access Act)
Cross Reference: Board Policy 613 - Religion in the Schools
801.1 Administrative Guidelines
RICHFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
STUDENT USE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL FACILITIES
A. Any secondary student who wishes to initiate a meeting under Board Policy 801 shall apply to the principal of the building at least 48 hours in advance of the time of the activity or meeting. The student must agree to the following:
1. All activities or meetings must comply with existing policies, regulations, and procedures that govern operation of school-sponsored activities.
2. The activities or meetings are voluntary and student-initiated. The principal may require assurances of this fact.
B. Student groups meeting under this policy must comply with the following rules:
1. Those attending must not engage in any activity that is illegal, dangerous, or which materially and substantially interferes with the orderly conduct of the educational activities of the school. Such activities shall be grounds for discipline of an individual student and grounds for a particular group to be denied access.
2. The groups may not use the school name, school mascot name, school emblems, the school district name, or any name that might imply school or district sponsorship or affiliation in any activity, including fundraising and community involvement.
3. The groups must comply with school policies, regulations and procedures governing school-sponsored activities.
C. Students applying for use of school facilities under this policy must provide the following information to the principal: time and date of meeting, estimated number of students in attendance, and special equipment needs.
D. The building principal has responsibility to:
1. Keep a log of application information;
2. Find and assign a suitable room for the meeting or activity. The number of students in attendance will be limited to the safe capacity of the meeting space.
3. Note the condition of the facilities and equipment before and after use.
4. Assure proper supervision. Assignment of staff to be present in a supervisory capacity does not constitute school district sponsorship of the meeting or activity.
5. Assure that the meeting or activity does not interfere with the school's regular instructional activities.
E. The school district shall not expend public funds for the benefit of students meeting pursuant to this policy beyond the incidental cost of providing space. The school district will provide no additional or special transportation.
F. Nonschool persons may not direct, conduct, control, or regularly attend meetings and activities held pursuant to this policy.
G. School district employees or agents may not promote, lead, participate in, or otherwise sponsor meetings or activities held pursuant to this policy.
H. A copy of Board Policy 801 and its accompanying administrative guidelines shall be made available to each student who initiates a request to use school facilities.
Independent School District No. 280
Application for Use of Facilities Form
Equal Access Act Meeting
Statement of Policy
It is the policy of this school district to grant equal access to secondary school facilities for students who wish to conduct a meeting for religious, political, or philosophical discussion during non-instructional time, pursuant to the Equal Access Act.
Provision of school facilities does not constitute school district sponsorship of such meeting, and the views expressed therein may or may not reflect those of the school administration, staff, or board of education and are neither approved nor disapproved by them.
Name of student initiating request:
Date of Meeting:
Estimated number to attend :
Special Equipment needs:
(School District Use Only)
Condition of Facilities:
Staff (if any) assigned to supervise: