House Engrossed Senate Bill
State of Arizona
First Regular Session
SENATE BILL 1384
amending title 15, chapter 7, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding section 15-720; relating to noncurriculum related school clubs.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Title 15, chapter 7, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 15-720, to read:
Noncurriculum related clubs for grades seven and eight; definitions15-720.
A. It is unlawful for any public school that offers instruction in grades seven and eight to deny equal access to pupils, to deny a fair opportunity to pupils or to discriminate against pupils who wish to conduct a meeting within a limited open forum on the basis of religious content, political content, philosophical content or other content of speech at these meetings.
B. A public school that offers instruction in grades seven and eight shall be deemed to offer a fair opportunity to pupils who wish to conduct a meeting within a limited open forum pursuant to this section if the school policy on noncurriculum group meetings conforms to all of the following:
1. The meetings are voluntary and initiated by pupils.
2. The meetings are not sponsored by the school, the school district, the federal government, this state, any of this stateís political subdivisions or any officer or employee of the school, the school district, the federal government, this state or any of this stateís political subdivisions.
3. Employees or officers of the school, the school district, the federal government, this state or any of this stateís political subdivisions may be present at religious meetings only as nonparticipants.
4. The meetings do not materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of the educational activities of the school.
5. Persons who are not officials or employees of the school or the school district shall not direct, conduct, control or regularly attend the meetings.
C. This section shall not be construed to authorize this state or any of its political subdivisions to engage in any of the following:
1. Influence the form or the content of any prayer or other religious activity.
2. Require any person to participate in prayer or any other religious activity.
3. Spend public monies on noncurriculum group meetings other than the incidental costs of providing methods to announce the time and location of a noncurriculum groupís meeting to seventh and eighth grade pupils and the incidental costs of providing the facilities to conduct the meetings.
4. Compel any officer or employee of the school or the school district to attend a noncurriculum group meeting if the content of the speech at the meeting is contrary to the beliefs of the officer or employee.
5. Allow meetings that are unlawful to take place on school property.
6. Limit the application of this section to groups of a minimum or maximum number of pupils.
7. Violate the constitutional rights of any person.
D. This section shall not be construed to limit the authority of the school, the school district or the officers or employees of the school or the school district to:
1. Maintain order and discipline on the school premises.
2. Protect the safety of pupils and faculty.
3. Allow a school officer or employee or a school district officer or employee to be present at noncurriculum group meetings.
4. Ensure that the attendance of pupils at noncurriculum group meetings is voluntary.
E. As used in this section:
1. "Limited open forum" means an offering or opportunity provided by a school that provides instruction in grades seven and eight for one or more noncurriculum related groups of pupils to meet on the premises of the school during lunch periods, before the commencement of the dayís regularly scheduled courses or after the conclusion of the dayís regularly scheduled courses.
2. "Noncurriculum" means that the groupís activities do not substantially enhance, extend or reinforce the subject matter of an academic course that is currently offered at the school.
3. "Pupil" means a public school student enrolled in the seventh or eighth grade.
APPROVED BY THE GOVERNOR APRIL 27, 2001.
FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF APRIL 30, 2001.