Student Speakers at School-Sponsored Activities
The School District of Greenville County is committed to maintaining an educational environment in which students of all backgrounds, beliefs and religions are welcome and treated with equal dignity and respect. The District will neither advance nor inhibit religion. In accord with the United States Constitution, the District protects private expression, including religious expression, by individual students as long as that expression does not create a disruption to or interfere with the educational environment.
Student speakers at school-sponsored activities, including graduations, may not be selected on a basis that either favors or disfavors religious speech. Where student speakers are selected on the basis of genuinely neutral, evenhanded criteria and retain primary control over the content of their expression, that expression is not attributable to the school and therefore may not be restricted because of its religious or secular content. In contrast, where school officials determine or substantially control the content of what is expressed, such speech is attributable to the school and may not include prayer or religious content. A school, however, may prevent or remove a speaker if the content of their speech is obscene, contrary to the District’s behavior code or substantially disruptive to the school environment.