STUDENT-INITIATED GROUP USE OF DISTRICT FACILITIES

(K-12 Districts)

 

Pursuant to the federal Equal Access Act and Missouri law, secondary schools of the district will provide an opportunity for student-initiated noncurricular groups to conduct meetings or activities on district property to the same extent that the district allows other noncurricular student groups to meet on school premises during noninstructional time.  Student-initiated noncurricular groups will not be denied access on the basis of religious, political, philosophical or other content of speech at such meetings or activities.  Only students in secondary schools will be allowed to initiate groups whose meetings or activities are held on district property.  For the purposes of this policy, a secondary school student is a student enrolled in grades 9B12.

 

The superintendent or designee may create administrative procedures to govern the use of district facilities by student-initiated noncurricular groups.  In addition, district-sponsored student groups are governed by policy IGD, and community use of district facilities is governed by policy KG.

 

The following guidelines apply to all student-initiated noncurricular groups, meetings and activities:

 

1.         Meetings and activities must be voluntary and student initiated.  No student shall be in any way coerced to participate.

 

2.         Employees of the district may not sponsor, promote or lead student-initiated noncurricular groups, activities or meetings, but a teacher, administrator or other school employee may be assigned to the meeting or activity to monitor facility use and student conduct.  No employee will be compelled to attend a meeting or activity if the content of the speech at the meeting or activity is contrary to the employee's beliefs.  Employees and agents of the school are to be present solely in a nonparticipatory capacity at any student-initiated religious activity held at school and will strictly observe a policy of official neutrality regarding religious activity.

 

3.         Meetings and activities may not materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school.

 

4.         Except for incidental building costs, no public funds will be expended for student‑initiated noncurricular groups.

 

5.         Community members other than students may not direct, conduct, control or regularly attend meetings or activities.

 

Student Conduct at Meetings

 

Students attending student-initiated noncurricular meetings or activities must follow all district rules and procedures governing student conduct.  The district reserves the right to maintain order and discipline, as well as to protect the safety and well-being of students and employees.

 

Access to Communication Channels

 

Student-initiated noncurricular groups at the secondary school level shall have the same access allowed to all other noncurricular student groups to channels of communication for publicizing their meetings, including the public address system, designated bulletin boards, school newspapers and the calendar of events.  The school may uniformly state in these media that such organizations or their meetings are not sponsored by the school.

 

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Note:   The reader is encouraged to check the index located at the beginning of this section for other pertinent policies and to review administrative procedures and/or forms for related information.

 

Adopted:         12/14/00

 

Revised:          09/12/15

 

Cross Refs:     KG, Community Use of District Facilities

KI, Public Solicitations/Advertising in District Facilities

KKB, Audio and Visual Recording

 

Legal Refs:     ' 160.2500, RSMo.

U.S. Const. amend. I

The Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. '' 4071 - 4072

Westside Community Bd. of Educ. v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990)

 

Advance R-IV School District, Advance, Missouri