Resolution for Religious Freedom Day
Whereas, the right to religious freedom is a pillar of American society, and
Whereas, our Founding Fathers knew the importance of freedom of religion for a stable democracy, and our Constitution protects the free exercise of religion, and
Whereas, January 16th celebrates the anniversary of the 1786 Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom that restrained the practice of taxing people to pay for the support of the local clergy, and protected the civil rights of people to express their religious beliefs without suffering discrimination. This statue serves as the model for protecting religious freedom as evidence in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and
Whereas, each year the President of the United States declares January 16th to be “Religious Freedom Day,” and calls upon Americans to “observe this day through appropriate events and activities in homes, schools, and places of worship,” and
Whereas, Section 9524 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act ("ESEA") of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, requires as a condition of receiving ESEA funds, that a local educational agency ("LEA") must certify in writing to its State educational agency ("SEA") that it has no policy that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in public schools, and
Whereas, the [--- school district name --- ] declares that it does not find or promote policies that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer in public schools as set forth in ESEA, Section 9524 guidance, and
Whereas, the U.S. Department of Education has developed guidelines clarifying the freedom of religious expression in public schools and requested that schools inform educators, students, and parents of these liberties,
Therefore, be it resolved that, the [--- school district name --- ] acknowledges January 16, [year], as Religious Freedom Day in the United States of America, and
Further, the [--- school district name --- ] encourages all Americans to reflect on the great blessing of religious liberty; preserve this freedom for future generations; and commemorate this day with appropriate events and activities in their schools, places of worship, neighborhoods, and homes.
Further, the board of education calls on the schools of [--- school district name --- ] to commemorate this day and promote clarity and respect by providing its staff and students with information on freedom of religious expression in our schools.