Policy 603.10 - Teaching Controversial Issues

TEACHING CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES

A “controversial issue” is defined as an area of significant academic inquiry about which substantial segments of the citizens of this community, state, or nation hold sincere conflicting points of view.

It is the belief of the school board that controversial issues should be fairly presented in a spirit of honest academic freedom to the end that individual students may recognize the validity of other points of view, but can learn to formulate their own opinions based upon dispassionate, objective, unbiased study, and discussion of the factual basis underlying the controversy.

It shall be the responsibility of the instructor to present fully and fairly the opportunity and means for students to study, consider, and discuss all sides of controversial issues within limits of good taste, allowing the expression of their personal opinions without jeopardizing their relationships with their instructors or school.

It shall be the responsibility of the instructor to refrain from advocating partisan causes, sectarian religious views, or selfish propaganda of any kind through any classroom or school device. However, an instructor shall not be prohibited from expressing a personal opinion as long as the student is encouraged to reach his/her own decision independently.

It shall be the policy of this school system with respect to controversial issues to encourage instructors to lead full discussions thereof in a spirit of academic freedom to the end that the student may learn that he/she has the right to disagree with the opinion of another, but has the responsibility to base the disagreement upon fact and/or opinion, and at the same time respect the right of another to hold a conflicting opinion.

Adopted:
Modified: 06/05/89; 03/07/94
Reviewed: 09/19/11; 12/03/18

Legal Reference:

Cross Reference

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