Section J - Students
Policy Title: Student Organizations, Clubs and Student Government
Policy Code: JJA
Print Version (in PDF)
Secret organizations are not allowed in the Tucson Public Schools. A student belonging to or attempting to create such an organization may be suspended from school. High school students are informed of the Arizona Interscholastic Association ruling that students who pledge or become members of a limited-membership club of the sorority or fraternity type, cannot represent their schools in interscholastic athletic competition or other non-athletic activities.
STUDENT GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS
Each school shall permit student Government organizations which encourage true understanding of democratic participation and responsibility through group interaction.
With the principal's approval, a school club may be formed (1) if it is determined there is student interest, and (2) providing the club is sponsored, co-sponsored, or monitored by a faculty member. As a District receiving Federal Funds, the Federal Equal Access Act (20 U.S.C. §4071 et seq. - "Act") shall be complied with in any decision whether to recognize a student club or organization not related to the curriculum. In secondary schools, clubs, including, but not limited to clubs engaging in religious, political, philosophical or other kinds of speech shall be recognized on the same basis as any other club. Meetings of such clubs may be held, provided that:
- The meeting is voluntary and student-initiated;
- There is no sponsorship of the meeting by the school, the government, or its agents or employees;
- Employees or agents of the school or government are present at religious meetings only in a nonparticipatory capacity;
- The meeting does not materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school; and
- Nonschool persons may not direct, conduct, control, or regularly attend activities of student groups.
School officials shall not:
- Influence the form or content of any prayer or other religious activity;
- Require any person to participate in prayer or other religious activity;
- Expend public funds beyond the incidental cost of providing the space for student-initiated meetings;
- Compel any school agent or employee to attend a school meeting if the content of the speech at the meeting is contrary to the beliefs of the agent or employee;
- Sanction meetings that are otherwise unlawful;
- Limit the rights of groups of students which are not of a specified numerical size; or
- Abridge the constitutional rights of any person.
Monitors for religious clubs shall be volunteers. Official approval of a club, including one exercising religious, philosophical, political or other speech rights shall not be construed as endorsement of the club.
In the event of conflict between this policy and the Act, the Act shall be deemed to prevail, unless a particular requirement or provision has been declared invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Nothing in the policy shall be deemed to prohibit neutral, ministerial regulations to insure accountability and recognized status for clubs.
Adopted: August 16, 1960
Revision: January 19, 1971
Revision: April 5, 1994
Revision: September 9, 2008 (numeric to letter format only)
Review: December 14, 2010 (reviewed with no changes)
Reviewed: June 11, 2013