PCSSD - 5.41P Academic Freedom

5.41P Academic Freedom

The Board recognizes the relationships among all parties engaged in the operation of the schools in the District. The philosophy and policies of the District are founded upon the laws and constitutions of Arkansas and the United States. This Republic has endured more than two hundred years to a large extent because of its free and enlightened citizenry. We recognize that the schools are an important part of the whole that runs this nation. We are determined to make our District the strongest element possible. Our society, and indeed the nation, is formed by the molding of all the parts into the whole. Unless all segments pull together, we cannot achieve our best. Academic responsibility is the most vital part of any school system. We believe those people entrusted with instruction in our District should understand that it is their duty to impart knowledge in a manner which encourages learning and develops the total character of the student. We do not believe the government has the right to censure and control academic responsibilities as is done in totalitarian countries. A government which limits and controls the mind of people destroys individuality and freedom. Neither do we believe that individuals or special interest groups have the right to arbitrarily suppress ideas. When individual freedom is destroyed, a nation cannot long survive. The Board is aware that the schools belong to the people who created them by taxation and consent, and accepts its responsibility to the patrons of the District through formation of general policies. As a part of our responsibility, we delegate to the administrators, faculty and staff the authority to implement all policies, including policies concerning academic matters. It is impossible to enumerate the separate and detailed roles and responsibilities of each individual charged with carrying out the various duties of the District. In recognition of these limitations, we hereby adopt the following:

  1. The constitutional and statutory rights of parents, personnel or students of Pulaski County Special School District will not be restricted.
  2. Personnel and students of the District have the right to express opinions and engage in matters of public interest.
  3. Personnel and students of the District will be encouraged to discharge their duties and responsibilities as citizens of the state and nation.
  4. Patrons, students and personnel will follow prescribed procedures in bringing matters to the attention of the Board.
  5. Students will be instructed in accordance with objective standards in all subjects including economics, political, scientific and social issues as well as standard academic subjects.
  6. Teaching personnel will be responsible for the proper use of approved materials in instructing their classes.
  7. Personnel will strive to present a true and complete presentation of subjects and issues.
  8. Students have the right to individual freedom of expression in matters relating to material presented. Such right does not extend to matters intended to disrupt or thwart the rights of others.
  9. Course materials and topics presented to students will generally be those contained in and associated with the material approved in accordance with the policies of the Board. When a teacher expresses a personal view on any subject in a formal classroom setting, it will be identified as a personal view.
  10. A patron(s) or group(s) desiring to present materials or opinions to students on campus will follow policy and apply through channels for approval.
  11. Personnel engaged in the education of students will not be subjected to unreasonable or arbitrary restrictions,
  12. Personnel, patrons and students will have the right to investigate and pursue the implementation of programs and ideas.
  13. Patrons, students and personnel will be encouraged to promote inquiry and an open-ended search for the truth.
  14. The Board acknowledges and supports the constitutional doctrine of separation of church and state.



Cross References: 6.7 Complaints, Handbook for Student Conduct and Discipline (Secondary), Handbook for Student Conduct and Discipline (Elementary)

Adopted: 10/13/81

Revised:  12/12/17

Manual Adoption: 2/8/00