Code No.: 602.12R1
TEACHING ABOUT RELIGION REGULATION – RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS
Policy: The historical and contemporary significance of religious holidays may be included in the
education program provided that the instruction is presented in an unbiased and objective manner. The
selection of holidays to be studied will take into account major celebrations of several world religions, not
just those of a single religion. Holiday-related activities will be educationally sound and sensitive to
religious differences and will be selected carefully to avoid the excessive or unproductive use of school
time. Teachers will be especially careful in planning activities that are to take place immediately
preceding or on a religious holiday.
Music, art, literature and drama having religious themes (including traditional carols, seasonal songs and
classical music) will be permitted if presented in an objective manner without sectarian indoctrination.
The emphasis on religious themes is only as extensive as necessary for a balanced and comprehensive
study or presentation. Religious content included in student performances is selected on the basis of its
independent educational merit and will seek to give exposure to a variety of religious customs, beliefs
and forms of expression. Holiday programs, parties or performances will not become religious
celebrations or be used as a forum for religious worship, such as the devotional reading of sacred
writings or the recitations of prayers.
The use of religious symbols (e.g. a cross, menorah, crescent, Star of David, lotus blossom, nativity
scene or other symbol that is part of a religious ceremony) are permitted as a teaching aid, but only
when such symbols are used temporarily and objectively to give information about a heritage associated
with a particular religion. The Christmas tree, Santa Claus, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies and Halloween
decorations are secular, seasonal symbols and as such can be displayed in a seasonal context.
Expressions of belief or nonbelief initiated by individual students is permitted in composition, art forms,
music, speech and debate. However, teachers may not require projects or activities which are
indoctrinate or force students to contradict their personal religious beliefs or nonbeliefs.
Teaching About Religion Regulation – Religious Holidays
Code No.: 602.12R1