Teaching About Religion
in support of civic pluralism
To allow students to express their
beliefs about religion in the form of
homework, artwork, and other
written and oral assignments free
of discrimination based on the
religious content of their
submissions. [TGRPS]

However, in especially
expressive assignments like
artwork, plays and reports that are
presented publicly (where an
observer, in witnessing the
delivery of the assignment, might
think that the project is being
endorsed by the school, a
problem arises.

To evaluate home and classroom
work by ordinary academic
standards of substance and
relevance, and against other
legitimate pedagogical concerns
identified by the school. [USDE]

To refuse to accept homework or
classwork where a student has
responded to an assignment with
a religiously themed project.

Example: When an assignment
is to read and report on a book of
interest, a school may not reject
the product simply on religious
grounds alone (students have a
right to free expression).

To evaluate the merits of a
studentís work on a religious
basis (e.g., conformity to teacherís
worldview) rather than on sound
academic criteria. [OABITAR]