20. Personal and Academic Freedom
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20.1 PERSONAL LIFE OF TEACHERS
The personal life of a teacher shall be the concern of, and warrant the attention of, the Board only as it may directly prevent the teacher from properly performing his/her assigned functions during duty hours, or when in violation of local, state, national, or common law. Religious or political activities of a teacher conducted outside duty hours and off school property shall not be grounds for disciplinary action or for discrimination with respect to his/her professional employment, providing said activities do not violate state, local, national, or common law.
20.2 ACADEMIC FREEDOM
A. Teacher Responsibility
Each teacher recognizes and accepts his/her obligation to support the goals of education and to foster respect for the heritage of democratic values. The Board and the Association, believing that academic freedom is basic to the attainment of the educational goals of the District, agree that teachers shall be responsible for providing students with the opportunity to investigate various sides of the topics presented in their courses, particularly in relation to controversial subjects, within such limits as may be imposed by relevance to the course, the level of maturity and intellectual ability of the students, and the time available.
B. Teacher Role in Student Rights
Teachers shall permit freedom of expression of those topics that are matters of opinion so that students may weigh alternative views and make up their own minds. Students shall be encouraged to examine, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize the information available to them before drawing conclusions in order to develop as fully as possible their capacities for rational judgment. Teachers shall strive to promote tolerance for the opinions of others and respect for the right of all individuals to hold and express differing opinions.
C. Teacher Limitations
A teacher may express his/her own opinions in regard to political, social, and religious values or issues provided that such statements are not libelous, slanderous, or violate the civil rights of others. He/She shall not use his/her professional contacts with students to further his/her own political, social, and religious aims or those of any individual group.