Religious Freedom in School
Many think children and college students give up their religious freedom (or give up much of it) when they go to school. Thankfully, this isn’t the case. In Utah public schools, children have wide freedom to religious expression. In fact, Utah Administrative Code Rule 277-105-6 states:
A student participating in a classroom discussion, presentation, or assignment, or in a school sponsored activity, shall not be prohibited from expressing personal beliefs of any kind nor be penalized for so doing, unless the conduct:
(1) unreasonably interferes with order or discipline;
(2) threatens the well-being of persons or property; or
(3) violates concepts of civility or propriety appropriate in a school setting.
This Rule also allows students to “initiate and conduct voluntary religious activities or otherwise exercise their religious freedom on school grounds during discretionary time.”
Likewise, students at Utah’s public universities do not leave their religious freedom at the door when they attend classes. Universities are places of exploration and diverse viewpoints, and religious viewpoints should be just as welcome as others. Various Supreme Court decisions have prohibited public universities from discriminating against religious viewpoints and religious students. In fact, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the University of Utah was involved in a very important case involving an acting student named Axson-Flynn. The University tried to enforce a rule that would have forced Ms. Axson-Flynn (a Mormon) to violate her religious precepts, while the University granted a Jewish student an exception to the rule so he would not violate his religious precepts. This discrimination against one religion and favoritism toward another eventually cost the University of Utah a lot time, grief, and of settlement money.
Has Your Utah School Restricted Your Religious Freedom? If So, Contact Brown Law.
If a Utah school has restricted your religious freedom, Brown Law can help. Call 801.685.9999 or 800.299.1016 today.