Distribution of Religious Literature in Public Schools – St. Johns County Florida School Board Rule

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In Florida public schools, school administrations both at the school level and the school board level should be sensitive to the diversity of the students as to race, religion, gender, and economic levels. Schools should not prostelyze or promote one religion over another. In fact, public schools are subject to the legal doctrine of separation of church and state.

“Separation of church and state is a political and legal doctrine that government and religious institutions are to be kept separate and independent from each other. The term most often refers to the combination of two principles: secularity of government and freedom of religious exercise.” Wikipedia provided this general description of the concept of separation of church and state.

School Boards in the State of Florida have enacted policies and procedures for dealing with religious literature and issues within the school system. In St. Johns County, Florida, School Board Rule 9.06 provides that:

“Religious literature may be distributed in schools provided organizations have been granted permission by the Superintendent. Such literature shall only be distributed through “passive” means which means the material shall be delivered to the school by the donor organization. The literature shall be placed in an accessible area designated for such purposes, where students may take the material if they so desire.”

If there is problem or issue within the school, I usually recommend that parents first discuss the matter with the principal to make sure that the parents know all of the available facts regarding the situation. If the principal is not responding or taking the appropriate action, then the matter can be addressed before the school boards.

Public schools in Florida have the responsibility to teach our children. Public schools (unlike private schools) cannot and should not support or discriminate against religions.