Section I: Instructional Program
Policy Title: Guest Speakers
Policy Code: IMC
Lead Department: Academic Leadership
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The Tucson Unified School District believes that learning is promoted when students are presented with educational experiences that encourage critical thinking and the thoughtful consideration of the points of view of others. Recognizing that bringing speakers on campus enriches the education of the students attending school in the District, the Governing Board welcomes and encourages the participation of guest speakers who possess knowledge, skills, or personal experience that will contribute to a discourse concerning educational, historical or civic matters. Parents and guardians of TUSD students are encouraged to serve as guest speakers at both school-wide assemblies and in classrooms.
The presentation of a guest speaker provides an opportunity for students to develop appropriate and courteous audience habits. Discussions that may reveal or lead to differences of opinion that do not disrupt the educational environment will be honored and respected as discussions that are appropriately within the scope of civic discourse in public education.
The presence of a guest speaker in a school or at an event does not imply endorsement of the opinions and views expressed by the speaker.
The responsible employee(s) shall not conduct a prior review of the guest speaker's speech or planned remarks, unless such a review is requested by the speaker. Provided it is requested by the guest speaker, responsible employees, in the exercise of their discretion, may offer advice or input regarding the speech or planned remarks.
Standards for Guest Speakers:
Guest Speakers shall:
- Present a topic or subject area that is appropriate to the age and maturity of the student audience to be addressed and relevant to the enhancement of the students' educational development.
- Try to develop an appreciation for a subject area, topic, culture, or viewpoint and encourage critical thinking.
- Not use language intended to promote hatred, bigotry or animosity between groups of people, or segments of society.
- Be advised that advocacy on behalf of or in opposition to candidates, campaigns, or ballot measures is prohibited under State law.
Guest Speakers at School-Wide Assemblies
School Site Administrators, in the exercise of their discretion, are authorized to conduct school-wide assemblies for the purposes of education and school morale.
The School Site Administrator is responsible for ensuring that individuals invited as guest speakers are provided a copy of this policy prior to the presentation. The School Site Administrator or designee is responsible for observing the guest's presentation in its entirety, and shall take appropriate corrective action if this policy is violated by the guest speaker.
Classroom Guest Speakers
Prior to issuing the invitation to guest speakers for classroom presentations, teachers shall inform the School Site Administrator. The following criteria should be considered when inviting a guest speaker:
- Curricular or other educational objectives to be attained.
- Approximate length, date and time of the presentation.
- Knowledge, skills, or personal experience of the speaker as related to the topic.
The teacher extending the invitation is responsible for ensuring that individuals invited as guest speakers are provided with a copy of this policy prior to the presentation. Each teacher shall monitor the guest's presentation in its entirety, and shall take appropriate corrective action if this policy is violated by the guest speaker.
Appropriate Corrective Action If the Guest Speaker Violates the Policy
- The School Site Administrator or designee is the responsible employee for school-wide assemblies.
- The teacher and the School Site Administrator or designees are the responsible employees for classroom presentations.
- On behalf of the District and as a professional educator, appropriate corrective action by the responsible employee(s) may be exercised at his or her discretion, which may include terminating the presentation.
Adopted: August 14, 2007
Reviewed: May 20, 2013
LEGAL REF.: A.R.S. 13-2911 Interference with or disruption of an educational institution; violation; classification; definitions
A.R.S. 15-341 General powers and duties; immunity; delegation
A.R.S. 15-507 Abuse of teacher or school employee in school; classification
A.R.S. 15-511 Use of school district or charter school resources or employees to influence elections; prohibition; civil penalty; definition
Ariz.Op.Att'y Gen. No. I07-009 - Guest speakers at School- Sponsored Assemblies and the Limitations of A.R.S. 15-511
CROSS REF: KB - Parental Involvement in Education; IMB- Teaching about Controversial/Sensitive Issues; A - District Mission, Vision and Values; AC - Discrimination; ADF - Intercultural Proficiency; KFA - Public Conduct on School Property