Religious-Related Activities or Practices
The Kent School District Board of Directors acknowledges the role of religion in understanding our society and the richness of the human experience therefore it has adopted the following guidelines:
- The District may provide instruction about religion through a study of a region’s culture and history. However, this study must connect to learning objectives.
- Staff may not engage in instructional activities that promote one religion over another or activities that promote non-religion.
- Students are not required to participate in activities that violate their religious beliefs. Parents may exclude their children from activities if there is a bona fide religious-based objection.
- Instruction about religious matters will be conducted in an objective, neutral, non- devotional manner, and will serve a specific educational purpose.
- Worship services or religious ceremonies of any kind cannot be held as part of school-sponsored events.
- A student may decline to participate in a school activity that is contrary to his or her bona fide religious belief.
- Seasonal decorations associated with holidays are permissible provided they are not religious in nature. Symbols like the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, Christmas trees, reindeer, and holly wreaths are permissible because they are both religious and non-religious symbols. Religious symbols such as a crucifix, crescent, or the Star of David are permissible when part of a lesson.
- As a matter of individual liberty, students may pray as long as such prayer does not disrupt or interfere with the class.
- Students may speak freely with others about their religious beliefs during non-instructional times as long as their speech is not disruptive to others.
Students, parents, and employees who are aggrieved by practices or activities conducted in the school or district may seek resolution of their concern first with the building principal, then with the district Superintendent or designee, or use Ombudservices which are available through the Schools Community Partnerships Officer at (253) 373-7117.