IICB - Community Resource Persons
A goal for education is to prepare students to participate constructively in a democratic, pluralistic society, a society in which many differing opinions are held and differing causes are espoused. It is important that students develop an understanding of divergent ideas. It is also important that they develop judgment, a capacity to discern the difference between fact and opinion and to weigh arguments, slogans and appeals. Books, films and other media are valuable for giving students exposure to many differing ideas, but for effective learning it is also useful to invite appropriate persons not on the district educational staff to speak to or to meet with groups of students as part of the educational process.
No overall standard can be established which will automatically exclude, as a resource, the person whose views or manner of presenting them may obstruct the educational process or endanger the health and safety of students or staff. The Board establishes the following guidelines, however, in an effort to uphold students’ freedom to learn while also recognizing obligations which the exercise of freedom entails:
- The teacher, sponsor and school administrator are expected to exercise judgment and to investigate fully those proposed resource persons about whom questions may arise;
- The teacher and sponsor should encourage the use of resource persons representing various approaches or points of view on a given topic to afford students a more comprehensive understanding of it;
- An appropriate record will be made of each resource person used and of that person’s presentation;
- The ideas presented and the resource person invited to present them will have a demonstrable relation to the curricular or cocurricular activity in which the participating students are involved;
- The teacher or sponsor responsible for inviting the resource person, or any member of the school administration, has the right and duty to interrupt or suspend proceedings if the conduct of the resource person is judged to be in poor taste or endangering the health and safety of students and staff. Examples of inappropriate conduct include, but are not limited to:
- Profanity, vulgarity or lewd comments;
- Violation of the district’s Tobacco-Free Environment or Drug-Free Workplace policy(ies);
- Discussion inconsistent with district-approved curriculum, goals and/or objectives of the curricular or cocurricular activity.
Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 4071-4074 (2012).
Westside Cmty. Bd. of Educ. v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990).