Against schools accommodating for religious observances

This Policy was developed in response to a recently-enacted North Carolina law, codified at NC General Statute 116-11(3a), which requires UNC Charlotte to (1) authorize a minimum of two excused absences each academic year for religious observances required by the faith of a student; and (2) provide students the opportunity to make up any tests or other work missed due to an excused absence for a religious observance.

In order to facilitate compliance with this new law while mitigating the burden on faculty, the Policy establishes a procedure for students to request accommodations for religious observances through the submission of a request form prior to the census date of each semester.

It does not include other factors such as third-party preferences.

against schools accommodating for religious observances-69against schools accommodating for religious observances-42

For the purposes of this Policy: UNC Charlotte provides reasonable accommodations, including a minimum of two excused absences each academic year, for religious observances required by a student’s religious practice or belief.

Such reasonable accommodations must be requested in accordance with the procedures in this Policy, and include the opportunity for the student to make up any tests or other work missed due to an excused absence for a religious observance.

Educators have a legal obligation under the Code to maintain a school climate that is free from harassment and discrimination.

Accommodation is appropriate where it respects a person's dignity, responds to a person's individualized needs, and allows for integration and full participation.

An accommodation request imposes responsibilities and obligations on both the University and the student requesting the accommodation.

UNC Charlotte faculty are required, as part of their responsibility to their students and the University, to adhere to this Policy and ensure its full and fair implementation by reasonably accommodating individual religious practices or beliefs.

Although the Policy Statement does not mention what prompted the Commission to release a policy statement on the specific issue of religious accommodation in schools, its release coincided with a highly-publicized dispute about Muslim prayers in schools of the Peel District School Board (the "Board").

In March 2017, the media reported extensively on protests against Friday prayers by Muslim students at the Board.

The school environment should remain free of pressure or compulsion in matters of religion.

The Commission ends the Policy Statement by calling on all Ontarians to work towards a vision of society where everyone can fully participate, no matter what their race, ancestry or religious beliefs or practices.

The new Policy Statement is the Commission's specific guidance for accommodating religious observances in the school setting.

Tags: , ,