IV. Instruction (formerly #6144)
A. Curricular Policies
1. Teaching of Controversial Issues
American public education has fostered, and the Narragansett Public Schools support, a climate of academic freedom that allows students to recognize differences of opinion on important issues. “Controversial issues” are those problems, subjects, or questions about which there are significant differences of opinion based, in part, on the differences in values which people bring to the appraisal of the facts of the issue. Educators must deal with controversial issues in an open and fair manner, ensuring that both sides of any issue are presented. Learning to recognize and understand controversial issues is a basic skill which all students in the Narragansett Public Schools should acquire.
In order for students to develop these analytical skills, teachers in Narragansett will have the opportunity to help students secure and evaluate information, learn the techniques of critical analysis, and make independent judgements. Students will have the opportunity, where appropriate, to present and support their conclusions before persons who have opposing points of view. Teachers will help students recognize the need for continuous and objective examination of these issues in light of changing conditions in society, and as new evidence becomes available.
If a citizen has a complaint concerning the presentation of a controversial issue, he/she may make an appointment to meet with the Principal of the school in order to discuss the matter. Prior to the meeting, the Principal should ensure that the complainant receives a copy of the School Committee’s policy concerning public complaints and that the Superintendent is informed. Refer to Policy I.B.11. Public Complaints—formerly #8900.
1st Reading: September 9, 1987
Adopted: October 14, 1987 Narragansett School System
Revised: September 19, 1990 Narragansett, Rhode Island