FW: Student reprimanded for religious absences
paul-finkelman at utulsa.edu
Tue Nov 23 10:15:04 PST 2004
Factual question: Is travelling out of state necessary for the
religious observance? That is, could he have attended religious
services and remained in state, and thus not missed so much school? Did
the days missed include all the religous holiday, or were there are also
travel days or days in between. I am thinking of some religious Jews
who take off school for two days at the beginning of Passover and two
and the end, but attend school in middle. If such a famlily went out of
town for all 8 days, and left a day early, and returned on the 9th day,
the child might miss 7 or 8 days of school, even though the religious
needs only required 4 days. Seems to me, that even if there is a
religious exemption, it cannot include travel out of state for family
convenience or simply the desire to be with family.
Volokh, Eugene wrote:
> Any thoughts on this issue? The Indiana Free Exercise Clause
> has been interpreted to require strict scrutiny, City Chapel Evangelical
> Free Inc. v. City of South Bend, 744 N.E.2d 443 (Ind. 2001), though I
> know of no cases that have dealt with the government's role as K-12
> The parent of a sixth-grade Lowell Middle School student says the
> Tri-Creek School Corp. has threatened to expel her child for religious
> Ruth Scheidt said middle school officials forced her 12-year-old son to
> sign a letter last month stating he understood if he missed another day
> of school for any reason before the end of the semester in January, he
> could be expelled. The family had just returned from an out-of-state,
> eight-day religious observance called the Feast of Tabernacles,
> celebrated by the United Church of God. . . .
> Under Indiana law there is no ruling as to whether children are to be
> excused for religious purposes, Neal said. The Indiana Department of
> Education holds firmly that it is not a reason to excuse students under
> Indiana law. . . .
> Students are allowed five days of excused absences per semester, Neal
> Excused absences include illness with a doctor's note, a death in the
> immediate family, quarantine or court appearance.
> "Occasionally there may be an emergency in a family," Neal said. "The
> principal may excuse a day to do that."
> After more than five absences, students must sign a letter acknowledging
> they understand they could be expelled. Some states provide a list of
> approved absences that are religious-based, but Indiana does not, Neal
> said. . . .
> To post, send message to Religionlaw at lists.ucla.edu
> To subscribe, unsubscribe, change options, or get password, see http://lists.ucla.edu/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/religionlaw
> Please note that messages sent to this large list cannot be viewed as private. Anyone can subscribe to the list and read messages that are posted; people can read the Web archives; and list members can (rightly or wrongly) forward the messages to others.
Chapman Distinguished Professor
University of Tulsa College of Law
3120 East 4th Place
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74104-2499
paul-finkelman at utulsa.edu
More information about the Religionlaw