Sound off: What is USD 497’s policy on teachers espousing their personal political and religious beliefs in class? My daughter has been inundated with anti-Republican and anti-Catholic sentiments lately.
The school board’s policies “state that professional employees and classified staff members ‘shall not use school time, school property or school equipment for the purpose of furthering the interests of any political party, the campaign of any political candidate or the advocacy of any political issue,’” said Julie Boyle, the district’s director of communications. In addition, she said, another policy says, in part: “When religion is included in the curriculum, the focus shall be on the study of what people believe, but must not be on teaching a student what to believe. The purpose is to educate, not convert. The instruction is academic, not devotional or preferential.” Boyle asked anyone with concerns about whether employees are adhering to policies to contact their child’s principal. USD 497’s Board Policy Manual is at usd497.org/AboutUs/SchoolBoard/ on the district’s website.