Controversial issues are those subjects about which there are significant differences of opinion based on differing values people bring to an issue; as a basic educational competency, students should develop abilities to deal with controversial issues.
Controversy is inherent in the democratic way of life, and study and discussion of controversial issues is essential to citizenship education in a free society. Students can become better informed individuals:
Through examining evidence, facts, and differing viewpoints;
By exercising freedom of thought and moral choice; and
Through making responsible decisions.
Perpetuation of the fundamental principles of American society requires opportunities for students to read, to gather information, to speak, to hear alternative viewpoints, and to reach honest judgments according to individual abilities.
Teachers shall help students identify and evaluate relevant information, learn the techniques of critical analysis, and make independent judgments. They must reinforce students' rights to present and support personal conclusions with those who have opposing points of view. Teachers should also develop student interest in objective re-examination of long-standing issues, and of newly significant issues, and promote vigorous exchanges of ideas. Although teachers have the right to express personal viewpoints and opinions, they do not have the right to indoctrinate students with their personal views and shall insure that all sides of the issue in question are taught objectively, equitably, and accurately, as far as possible.
cf. 1110.1 Individual Student Concerns / Educational Concerns / Challenged Material
cf. 4118.21 Academic Freedom
cf. 5145.2 Freedom of Expression / Speech
cf. 6115 Ceremonies and Observances
Litchfield Board of Education
Policy Adopted: 11/25/1986
Policy Reviewed: 10/1/1998
Policy Revised: 4/22/2015