Policy 2330 - Controversial Issues and Academic Freedom

The District shall offer courses of study which will afford learning experiences appropriate to the level of student understanding. The instructional program shall respect the right of students to face issues, to have free access to information, to study under teachers in situations free from prejudice, and to form, hold, and express their own opinions without personal prejudice or discrimination.

Teachers shall guide discussions and procedures with thoroughness and objectivity to acquaint students with the need to recognize opposing viewpoints, importance of fact, value of good judgment, and the virtue of respect for conflicting opinions.

The Board encourages and supports the concept of academic freedom, recognizing it as a necessary condition to aid in maintaining an environment conducive to learning and the free exchange of ideas and information.  However, guest speakers who will be espousing controversial issues must be pre-approved at least 24 hours in advance by the school administration.

In the study or discussion of controversial issues or materials, however, the Board directs the teaching staff to take into account the following criteria:

  1. The relative maturity of students;
  2. Kimberly District philosophy of education;
  3. The community standards, morals and values;
  4. The necessity for a balanced presentation; and
  5. The necessity to seek prior administrative counsel and guidance in such matters.

In the event that a parent or guardian does not want their child to participate, they need to communicate, in writing, with the student's teacher.  The teacher will provide an alternative assignment.

Legal Reference:
I.C. § 33-512 Governance of schools

Policy History:
First Reading: 11/26/02
Adopted on: 1/28/03
Revised on: 8/15/18