2331 Controversial Issues/Guest Speakers

  • Guest Speakers

    The Board encourages the enrichment of curriculum and the widening of educational horizons by inviting persons from outside the school with special knowledge, talents or an interesting vocation to address students.

    The time given by the resource person and the limitations imposed by the necessity to schedule the regular program of studies must be considered when arranging for speakers.

    Approval for each such visit or program must be given by the building principal.

    Study of Controversial Topics

    The Board of Directors believes that controversial issues are part of the district’s instructional program when related to subject matter in a given grade level or specific curricular field.  Teachers will use professional judgment in determining the appropriateness of the issue to the curriculum and the maturity of the students.  Questionable matters should be referred to the principal for decision.

    In its recognition of the value of studying controversial issues, the Board is also committed to the development in the student of an ability to meet issues of a free society without prejudice, to withhold judgment while facts are being collected, assembled and weighed, and to see relationships before drawing inferences and conclusions.  The presentation and discussion of controversial issues which have political, economic, or social significance for the student at their level of maturity are important to this development.

    In the presentation of all controversial issues, every effort will be made to effect a balance of biases, divergent points of view, and opportunity for exploration by the students into all sides of the issue.

    In discussing controversial issues, the teacher will encourage students to express their own view assuring, that it be done in a manner that gives due respect to one another’s rights and opinions.  When discussing controversial issues, the teacher will respect positions other than their own.  Students will be encouraged, after class discussions and independent inquiry, to reach their own conclusions regarding controversial issues.

    ADOPTED: 01/17/91
    REVISED: 09/25/97

    Procedure No. 2331P Controversial Issues/Guest Speakers
    Guest Speakers

    The following procedures will be in effect when guest speakers are being considered for use in the classroom:

    When a teacher believes that a guest speaker will contribute to the curriculum by helping to achieve the goals and objectives of the course, the staff member will follow the procedure set out below.

    1. At least two weeks before the date the speaker will visit, the teacher will notify the principal on the attached form whom they want to invite, how the speaker's topic will relate to the curriculum and when the speaker will visit.

      Any teacher may request a waiver of the two-week notice period and any principal may grant such a waiver in order to accommodate the scheduling of a speaker on short notice. However, such a waiver shall be at the sole discretion of the principal and the previous granting of such waivers shall not obligate any principal to grant a waiver for any future request.

    2. In the event the speaker’s topic is determined to be controversial, the teacher will notify students beforehand that any student who wished not to attend the presentation will have an alternative assignment.

    3. Unless the principal approves otherwise, the teacher will not allow non-class members to hear the speaker.

    4. The guest speaker will be registered in the office by the teacher on the day they speak.

    5. Approval of a guest speaker will be exercised in a manner consistent with the principles of free inquiry and expression.

    6. If the principal has reason to believe that the appearance of the guest speaker would not contribute to the curriculum or would be harmful to the students, they may deny the appearance of the guest speaker. If the teacher disagrees with the denial, they may appeal to the Superintendent to determine whether the speaker should be allowed.

    ADOPTED: 01/17/91
    REVISED: 09/25/97


2000 Policies