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603.8 Teaching About Religion

Code No. 603.8


The school district is required to keep the practice of religion out of the school curriculum. The board recognizes the key role religion has played in the history of the world and authorizes the study of religious history and traditions as part of the curriculum. Preferential or derogatory treatment of a single religion will not take place.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to ensure the study of religion in the schools in keeping with the following guidelines:

  • the proposed activity must have a secular purpose;
  • the primary objective of the activity must not be one that advances or inhibits religion; and
  • the activity must not foster excessive governmental entanglement with religion.

NOTE: This policy and the accompanying regulation reflect the law on teaching religion in the public schools.

Legal Reference:     
U.S. Const. amend. I.
Lee v. Weisman. 112 S.Ct. 2649 (1992).
Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971).
Graham v. Central Community School District of Decatur County, 608 F.Supp. 531 (S.D. Iowa 1985).
Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.6 (2013).

Cross Reference:     
603 Instructional Curriculum
604.5 Religious-Based Exclusion from a School Program
606.2 School Ceremonies and Observances

Approved: 2/8/17, Reviewed: 6/14/23, Revised: 

Grinnell-Newburg School District, Grinnell, IA