2331 - Controversial Issues (Guest Speakers)
The District will offer courses of study which will afford learning experiences appropriate to the level of student understanding. The instructional program will respect the right of students to discuss or examine economic, political, scientific, or social issues of significance, 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.
The issue should be suitable for students of the maturity and background represented in the class.
Teachers shall provide the student(s) competent instruction by balancing the various and or conflicting points of view, and allow student(s) to form, identify, and express their own opinion(s). Teachers shall also guide discussions and procedures with thoroughness and objectivity to acquaint students with the need to recognize opposing viewpoints, the importance of fact, the value of judgment and the virtue of respect for conflicting opinions. Teachers will exercise professional judgment in determining the appropriateness of the issue to the curriculum and the maturity of the students. When in doubt regarding appropriateness, the matter should be referred to the principal.
A student’s parent(s) or guardian, after meeting with a building administrator, may object to their student’s participation on the day of the controversial topic or guest speaker, and ask to have their child excluded. Upon building administrator authorization, alternative instructional activities and or an alternative instructional setting will be provided.
The District values academic freedom for its certificated employees. The exercise of academic freedom shall be compatible with professional responsibility and judgment, adopted District curricula, negotiated agreements, and State and Federal laws.
Professional responsibility and judgment shall include a commitment to democratic tradition, a concern for the welfare, growth and development of students, respect for parental concerns, and an insistence upon balanced and objective scholarship.
On occasion, a certificated employee may find it appropriate to bring in a guest speaker to supplement instruction on a particular area or issue. The District encourages the extension of instructional experiences through the use of guest speakers in accordance with 2331P.