After we aired a story about a principal’s letter sent home to parents reminding them to be mindful of what they’re sharing with kids after our heated presidential election, some parents came back and asked their own questions.
What about inside the classroom? What can teachers share with their students?
It may be helpful for parents to know that there are policies out there to protect how things are addressed in the classroom.
We reached out to six school districts, Folsom, Elk Grove, Roseville, Natomas, Sac City and San Juan, late in the day Tuesday and got policies back from two of them.
Folsom Cordova Unified School District has a 'Controversial Issues' policy.
What we learned is that most districts have something similar.
“The Board expects administrators and teachers to exercise professional judgment when deciding whether or not a particular issue is suitable for study or discussion.”
The policy lists a number of guidelines when dealing with a controversial issue:
"Instruction shall be presented in a balanced manner, addressing all sides of the issue without bias or prejudice and without promoting any particular point of view."
It also allows teachers to chime in.
"The teacher may express a personal opinion provided he/she identifies it as a personal opinion and clarifies that he/she is not speaking on behalf of the school or district. The teacher shall not express an opinion for the purpose of persuading students to his/her point of view."
Elk Grove Unified School District is the other district we got a copy of a policy from.
It has a similar 'Controversial Issues' policy.
Before the election it also sent out ‘Political Action Guidelines.’ This focused mainly on campaigning at the work place, the do’s and dont's, and it also gave situational examples.
Part of it states: “Staff may not wear a political button or other political apparel in a classroom or instructional setting.”