Proposed guidelines for Lexington District 5 clubs


Student-Initiated, Non-Curriculum-Related Student Clubs/Organizations

Student-initiated, non-curriculum-related student clubs/organizations shall be permitted to conduct voluntary meetings on school grounds during non-instructional time to the same extent permitted to school-sponsored student clubs/organizations, regardless of the size of the club/organization or the religious, political, philosophical or other content of the speech at the meetings, provided that the meetings do not materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of the educational activities of the school. Such meetings shall be open to all students without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.

  1. School employees shall not promote, lead or participate in the meetings of these non-curricular student-initiated clubs/organizations; however, a school employee may be present at the meetings to maintain order and protect the general welfare of the students involved. School employees also may not influence the form or content of any prayer or other religious activity, nor require any person to participate in prayer or any other religious activity. In addition, non-school persons may not direct, conduct, control or regularly attend the activities ofnoncurricular student groups.
  2. No public funds may be expended on behalf of the student clubs/organizations covered by this policy except for the incidental cost of providing space for the group meetings.
  3. Students seeking to establish a voluntary non-curricular club/organization shall seek approval from the principal.
  4. The Administration shall develop regulations and procedures consistent with this policy and state and federal law.
  5. This policy shall apply to high schools only.


Student-Initiated, Non-Curriculum-Related Student Clubs/Organizations

Approved non-school sponsored, student-initiated, non-curriculum related student groups shall adhere to the following requirements:

  1. Students who wish to form a student-initiated, non-curriculum related club/organization shall submit their request to use school facilities to the principal in writing.
  2. The request shall state the name of the club/organization, the names of the organizers or officers of the club/organization, and the general purpose of the club/organization. The non-school sponsored club/organization's name may not include the name of the school in order to avoid any inference that the group is sponsored by the school.
  3. The principal may not deny a student club/organization's request to use school facilities based solely on the purpose or content of the club/organization's meeting, except as set forth below, nor may the principal limit the right to use school facilities to clubs/organizations which are not of a specified numerical size.
  4. The principal may deny the request of a club/organization to use school facilities for its meetings if the principal has a reasonable basis to believe that: a. The meeting will materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school; or the group's meeting(s) have in the past materially and substantially interfered with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school; b. The club/organization's meeting will not be truly voluntary in that the group or its members will coerce or attempt to coerce other students to attend its meeting in a disruptive, proselytizing or offensive manner; c. The club/organization will prohibit students from attending its meetings based solely on their race, religion, ethnic origin, sex or disability in violation of state and/or federal law and regulations; d. The club/organization will violate or has in the past violated the rules and regulations governing the use of school facilities; e. The meeting or activity at the meeting will be otherwise unlawful or will promote unlawful activities.
  5. The principal shall have the authority to designate reasonable times and places for student-initiated, non-school sponsored clubs/organizations to conduct their meetings. The said times and places shall be reasonably similar to the time and places which are granted to school-sponsored clubs and organizations.
  6. The principal may assign an employee to attend such meetings. The employee will be assigned for custodial/supervisory purposes only. The employee may not: a. promote, lead or participate in the group's meeting; b. influence the form or content of any prior or religious activity at such meeting; and/or c. require any person to participate in prayer or other religious activity at such a meeting.
  7. Persons from the community may not direct, conduct, control, or regularly attend the activities of non-school sponsored student clubs/organizations.

Limitations on Student-Initiated, Non-curriculum Related Student Clubs/Organizations

In order to ensure that students, parents and the community know and understand that the student initiated clubs/organizations which use school facilities in accordance with this policy are not sponsored by the Board, the District, or an individual school, the following limitations shall be placed on the activities of student-initiated, non-curriculum related groups and clubs:

  1. Armouncements of their activities or meetings shall not be allowed over the PA system or on poster; but may be communicated utilizing a common bulletin board designated by the principal to be shared by all student-initiated, non-curricular clubs/organizations.
  2. They may not deposit their funds, if any, in school accounts.
  3. They may not engage in fund-raising activities at school.
  4. They shall not be portrayed in a school's yearbook.
  5. They shall not identify their club/ organization with a particular school in any way or manner which would cause a person to believe or assume that the club/organization is sponsored by the school. For example, a student-initiated, non-school sponsored club/organization may not identify itself as the Chapin High School ___ Club or the ___ Club of Irmo High School.
  6. Students are required to obtain prior approval of their parent/guardian before being able to participate in any student-initiated, non-curricular club/organization. Approval slips should be on file with the facility supervisor of each club.
  7. Each club/organization must seek renewal annually by September _. After this date, no new clubs/organizations will be considered for that school year. Existing clubs/organizations not seeking renewal from the previous year will remain inactive until reapplying the following year.
  8. If a school lists student-initiated, non-curriculum clubs/organizations on its website or in its handbook, a disclaimer noting that the school does not sponsor the club/organization must appear on the website.
  9. Non-school sponsored club/organization activities shall be limited to after-school hours only.
  10. Any non-school person wishing to attend a meeting of a student-initiated, noncurricular club/organization must obtain permission ofthe principal to attend.