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609 -Religion

  • 600 Series: Education Programs
609 -Religion
Rationale Date Approved/Revised
The purpose of this policy is to identify the status of religion as it pertains to the programs of the school district
  • 11/22/11
  • Revised: 9/25/12
  • Revised: 7/23/13
  • Revised: 5/21/19
  • Revised: 6/21/22

1)   General Statement of Policy

A.      The school district shall neither promote nor disparage any religious belief or nonbelief.         

               Instead, the school district encourages all students and employees to have appreciation               

        for and tolerance of each other’s views.

B.            The school district also recognizes that religion has had and is having a significant role in the social, cultural, political, and historical development of civilization.

C.           The school district recognizes that one of its educational objectives is to increase its students’ knowledge and appreciation of music, art, drama, and literature which may have had a religious basis or origin as well as a secular importance.

D.           The school district supports the inclusion of religious music, art, drama, and literature in the curriculum and in school activities provided it is intrinsic to the learning experience and is presented in an objective manner without sectarian indoctrination.

E.            The historical and contemporary values and the origin of various religions, holidays, customs, and beliefs may be explained in an unbiased and nonsectarian manner.

2)  Responsibility  

A.            The superintendent shall be responsible for ensuring to ensure that the study of religious materials, customs, beliefs, and holidays in the school district is in keeping with the following guidelines:

1.            The proposed activity must have a secular purpose.

2.            The primary objective of the activity must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion.

3.            The activity must not foster excessive governmental relationships with religion.

4.            Notwithstanding the foregoing guidelines, reasonable efforts must be made to accommodate any student who wishes to be excused from attendance at school for the purpose of religious instruction or observance of religious holidays. 

Adoption and Revision History

Incorporated Policies

Policy 609 RELIGION

This Policy Adopted:  December 10, 1996;  Rescinded:  August 5, 2008

MSBA 609



This Policy Adopted: January 22, 2008, Rescinded: November 22, 2011


Policy E-045 RELIGION

This Policy Adopted: November 22, 2011 ; Revised:  September 25, 2012; Revised:  July 23, 2013


Policy 609 RELIGION

This Policy Revised:  May 21, 2019;

Revised:  June 21, 2022


Administrative Rule, Regulation and Procedure: NA 

Legal References:                U. S. Const., amend. I

Minn. Stat. § 120A.22, Subd. 12(3) (Compulsory Instruction)

Minn. Stat. § 120A.35 (Absence from School for Religious Observance)

Minn. Stat. § 121A.10 (Moment of Silence)

Good News Club v. Milford Central School, 533 U.S. 98, 121 S.Ct. 2093, 150 L.Ed.2d 151 (2001)

Santa Fe Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290, 120 S.Ct. 2266 (2000)

Tangipahoa Parish Bd. of Educ. v. Freiler, 530 U.S. 1251, 120 S.Ct. 2706 (2000)

Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S.602, 91 S.Ct. 2105, 29 L.Ed.2d 745 (1971)

Child Evangelism Fellowshop v. Minneapolis Special Sch. Dist. No. 1, 690

F.3d 996 (8th Cir. 2012)

Wigg v. Sioux Falls Sch. Dist., 382 F.3d 807 (8th Cir. 2004)

Doe v. School Dist. of City of Norfolk, 340 F.3d 605 (8th Cir. 2003)

Stark v. Independent Sch. Dist. No. 640, 123 F.3d 1068 (8th Cir. 1997)

Florey v. Sioux Falls Sch. Dist. 49-5, 619 F.2d 1311 (8th Cir. 1980)

Roark v. South Iron R-1 Sch. Dist., 573 F.3d 556 (8th Cir. 2009)

Child Evangelism Fellowship v. Elk River Area Sch. Dist. No. 728, 599 F.Supp.2d 1136 (D. Minn. 2009)

LeVake v. Independent Sch. Dist. No. 656, 625 N.W.2d 502 (Minn. App. 2001)

Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 169-J (Feb. 14, 1968)

Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 169-K (Oct. 21, 1949)

Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 63 (1940)

Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 120 (1924)

Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 121 (1924) 

Cross References:              MSBA/MASA Model Policy 801 (Equal Access to School Facilities)