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H.B. 236 Enrolled
7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill modifies the State System of Public Education Code's regulation of curricular
10 and noncurricular clubs.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 . provides definitions;
14 . provides requirements and procedures for the authorization of curricular and
15 noncurricular clubs;
16 . regulates the use of school buildings by authorized clubs;
17 . provides for faculty oversight of authorized clubs;
18 . provides requirements for club membership, including parental consent;
19 . requires the investigation of complaints, provides school options for violations, and
20 establishes appeals procedures;
21 . allows additional rulemaking by the State Board of Education and provides
22 additional rulemaking authority for local school governing boards;
23 . provides severability; and
24 . makes technical corrections.
25 Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
27 Other Special Clauses:
29 Utah Code Sections Affected:
31 53A-3-420, as enacted by Chapter 19, Laws of Utah 1999
32 53A-13-101.2, as last amended by Chapter 10, Laws of Utah 1996, Second Special
35 53A-11-1201, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36 53A-11-1202, Utah Code Annotated 1953
37 53A-11-1203, Utah Code Annotated 1953
38 53A-11-1204, Utah Code Annotated 1953
39 53A-11-1205, Utah Code Annotated 1953
40 53A-11-1206, Utah Code Annotated 1953
41 53A-11-1207, Utah Code Annotated 1953
42 53A-11-1208, Utah Code Annotated 1953
43 53A-11-1209, Utah Code Annotated 1953
44 53A-11-1210, Utah Code Annotated 1953
45 53A-11-1211, Utah Code Annotated 1953
46 53A-11-1212, Utah Code Annotated 1953
47 53A-11-1213, Utah Code Annotated 1953
48 53A-11-1214, Utah Code Annotated 1953
50 53A-3-419, as enacted by Chapter 10, Laws of Utah 1996, Second Special Session
52 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
53 Section 1. Section 53A-3-420 is amended to read:
54 53A-3-420. Activity disclosure statements.
55 (1) A local school board shall require the development of activity disclosure statements
56 for each school-sponsored group[
57 grades 9 through 12 in contests, performances, events, or other activities that require them to
58 miss normal class time or takes place outside regular school time.
59 (2) The activity disclosure statements shall be disseminated to the students desiring
60 involvement in the specific activity or to the students' parents or legal guardians or to both
61 students and their parents.
62 (3) An activity disclosure statement shall contain the following information:
63 (a) the specific name of the [
64 (b) the maximum number of students involved;
65 (c) whether or not tryouts are used to select students, specifying date and time
66 requirements for tryouts, if applicable;
67 (d) beginning and ending dates of the activity;
68 (e) a tentative schedule of the events, performances, games, or other activities with
69 dates, times, and places specified if available;
70 (f) if applicable, designation of any nonseason events or activities, including an
71 indication of the status, required, expected, suggested, or optional, with the dates, times, and
72 places specified;
73 (g) personal costs associated with the activity;
74 (h) the name of the school employee responsible for the activity; and
75 (i) any additional information considered important for the students and parents to
77 Section 2. Section 53A-11-1201 is enacted to read:
79 53A-11-1201. Title.
80 This part is known as the "Student Clubs Act."
81 Section 3. Section 53A-11-1202 is enacted to read:
82 53A-11-1202. Definitions.
83 As used in this part:
84 (1) "Bigotry" means action or advocacy of imminent action involving:
85 (a) the harassment or denigration of a person or entity; or
86 (b) any intent to cause a person not to freely enjoy or exercise any right secured by the
87 constitution or laws of the United States or the state, except that an evaluation or prohibition
88 may not be made of the truth or falsity of any religious belief or expression of conscience
89 unless the means of expression or conduct arising therefrom violates the standards of conduct
90 outlined in this section, Section 53A-13-101.3 , or 20 U.S.C. Section 4071(f).
91 (2) "Club" means any student organization that meets during noninstructional time.
92 (3) "Conscience" means a standard based upon learned experiences, a personal
93 philosophy or system of belief, religious teachings or doctrine, an absolute or external sense of
94 right and wrong which is felt on an individual basis, a belief in an external absolute, or any
95 combination of the foregoing.
96 (4) "Curricular club" means a club that is school sponsored and that may receive
97 leadership, direction, and support from the school or school district beyond providing a
98 meeting place during noninstructional time. An elementary school curricular club means a club
99 that is organized and directed by school sponsors at the elementary school. A secondary school
100 curricular club means a club:
101 (a) whose subject matter is taught or will soon be taught in a regular course;
102 (b) whose subject matter concerns the body of courses as a whole;
103 (c) in which participation is required for a particular course; or
104 (d) in which participation results in academic credit.
105 (5) (a) "Discretionary time" means school-related time for students that is not
106 instructional time.
107 (b) "Discretionary time" includes free time before and after school, during lunch and
108 between classes or on buses, and private time before athletic and other events or activities.
109 (6) (a) "Encourage criminal or delinquent conduct" means action or advocacy of
110 imminent action that violates any law or administrative rule.
111 (b) "Encourage criminal or delinquent conduct" does not include discussions
112 concerning changing of laws or rules, or actions taken through lawfully established channels to
113 effectuate such change.
114 (7) (a) "Instructional time" means time during which a school is responsible for a
115 student and the student is required or expected to be actively engaged in a learning activity.
116 (b) "Instructional time" includes instructional activities in the classroom or study hall
117 during regularly scheduled hours, required activities outside the classroom, and counseling,
118 private conferences, or tutoring provided by school employees or volunteers acting in their
119 official capacities during or outside of regular school hours.
120 (8) "Involve human sexuality" means:
121 (a) presenting information in violation of laws governing sex education, including
122 Sections 53A-13-101 and 53A-13-302 ;
123 (b) advocating or engaging in sexual activity outside of legally recognized marriage or
124 forbidden by state law; or
125 (c) presenting or discussing information relating to the use of contraceptive devices or
126 substances, regardless of whether the use is for purposes of contraception or personal health.
127 (9) "Limited open forum" means a forum created by a district for student expression
128 within the constraints of Subsection 53A-13-101.3 (2)(b).
129 (10) "Noncurricular club" is a student initiated group that may be authorized and
130 allowed school building use during noninstructional time in secondary schools by a school and
131 school governing board in accordance with the provisions of this part. A noncurricular club's
132 meetings, ideas, and activities are not sponsored or endorsed in any way by a school governing
133 board, the school, or by school or school district employees.
134 (11) "Noninstructional time" means time set aside by a school before instructional time
135 begins or after instructional time ends, including discretionary time.
136 (12) "Religious club" means a noncurricular club designated in its application as either
137 being religiously based or based on expression or conduct mandated by conscience.
138 (13) "School" means a public school, including a charter school.
139 (14) "School building use" means access to a school facility or premises, including
140 access to a limited open forum.
141 (15) "School governing board" means a local school board or charter school board.
142 Section 4. Section 53A-11-1203 is enacted to read:
143 53A-11-1203. Student clubs -- Limited open forum -- Authorization.
144 (1) (a) A school may establish and maintain a limited open forum for student clubs
145 pursuant to the provisions of this part, State Board of Education rules, and school governing
146 board policies.
147 (b) Notwithstanding the provisions under Subsection (1)(a), a school retains the right to
148 create a closed forum at any time by allowing curricular clubs only.
149 (2) (a) A school shall review applications for authorization of clubs on a case-by-case
151 (b) Before granting an authorization, the school shall find:
152 (i) that the proposed club meets this part's respective requirements of a curricular club
153 or a noncurricular club; and
154 (ii) that the proposed club's purpose and activities comply with this part.
155 (c) Before granting an authorization, a school may request additional information from
156 the faculty sponsor, from students proposing the club, or from its school governing board, if
158 (3) A school shall grant authorization and school building use to curricular and
159 noncurricular clubs whose applications are found to meet the requirements of this part, rules of
160 the State Board of Education, and policies of the school governing board and shall limit or
161 deny authorization or school building use to proposed clubs that do not meet the requirements
162 of this part, rules of the State Board of Education, and policies of the school governing board.
163 Section 5. Section 53A-11-1204 is enacted to read:
164 53A-11-1204. Curricular clubs -- Authorization.
165 (1) Faculty members or students proposing a curricular club shall submit written
166 application for authorization on a form approved by the school governing board.
167 (2) A school governing board may exempt a club whose membership is determined by
168 student body election or a club that is governed by an association that regulates interscholastic
169 activities from the authorization requirements under this section.
170 (3) An application for authorization of a curricular club shall include:
171 (a) the recommended club name;
172 (b) a statement of the club's purpose, goals, and activities;
173 (c) a statement of the club's categorization, which shall be included in the parental
174 consent required under Section 53A-11-1210 , indicating all of the following that may apply:
175 (i) athletic;
176 (ii) business/economic;
177 (iii) agriculture;
178 (iv) art/music/performance;
179 (v) science;
180 (vi) gaming;
181 (vii) religious;
182 (viii) community service/social justice; and
183 (ix) other;
184 (d) the recommended meeting times, dates, and places;
185 (e) a statement that the club will comply with the provisions of this part and all other
186 applicable laws, rules, or policies; and
187 (f) a budget showing the amount and source of any funding provided or to be provided
188 to the club and its proposed use.
189 (4) The application may be as brief as a single page so long as it contains the items
190 required under this section.
191 (5) A school shall approve the name of a curricular club consistent with the club's
192 purposes and its school sponsorship.
193 (6) (a) A school shall determine curriculum relatedness by strictly applying this part's
194 definition of curricular club to the club application.
195 (b) If the school finds that the proposed club is a curricular club, the school shall
196 continue to review the application as an application for authorization of a curricular club.
197 (c) If the school finds that the proposed club is a noncurricular club, the school may:
198 (i) return the application to the faculty member or students proposing the club for
199 amendment; or
200 (ii) review the application as an application for authorization of a noncurricular club.
201 (7) (a) Only curricular clubs may be authorized for elementary schools.
202 (b) A school governing body may limit, or permit a secondary school to limit, the
203 authorization of clubs at the secondary school to only curricular clubs.
204 Section 6. Section 53A-11-1205 is enacted to read:
205 53A-11-1205. Noncurricular clubs -- Annual authorization.
206 (1) A noncurricular club shall have a minimum of three members.
207 (2) Students proposing a noncurricular club shall submit a written application for
208 authorization on a form approved by the school governing board.
209 (3) An application for authorization of a noncurricular club shall include:
210 (a) the recommended club name;
211 (b) a statement of the club's purpose, goals, and activities;
212 (c) a statement of the club's categorization, which shall be included in the parental
213 consent required under Section 53A-11-1210 , indicating all of the following that may apply:
214 (i) athletic;
215 (ii) business/economic;
216 (iii) agriculture;
217 (iv) art/music/performance;
218 (v) science;
219 (vi) gaming;
220 (vii) religious;
221 (viii) community service/social justice; and
222 (ix) other;
223 (d) the recommended meeting times, dates, and places;
224 (e) a statement that the club will comply with the provisions of this part and all other
225 applicable laws, rules, or policies; and
226 (f) a budget showing the amount and source of any funding provided or to be provided
227 to the club and its proposed use.
228 (4) The application may be as brief as a single page so long as it contains the items
229 required under this section.
230 (5) (a) A school governing board may provide for approval of a noncurricular club
231 name in an action separate from that relating to authorization of the club itself.
232 (b) A school governing board shall require:
233 (i) that a noncurricular club name shall reasonably reflect the club's purpose, goals, and
234 activities; and
235 (ii) that the noncurricular club name shall be a name that would not result in or imply a
236 violation of this part.
237 Section 7. Section 53A-11-1206 is enacted to read:
238 53A-11-1206. Clubs -- Limitations and denials.
239 (1) A school shall limit or deny authorization or school building use to a club or
240 require changes prior to granting authorization or school building use:
241 (a) as the school determines it to be necessary to:
242 (i) protect the physical, emotional, psychological, or moral well-being of students and
244 (ii) maintain order and discipline on school premises;
245 (iii) prevent a material and substantial interference with the orderly conduct of a
246 school's educational activities;
247 (iv) protect the rights of parents or guardians and students;
248 (v) maintain the boundaries of socially appropriate behavior; or
249 (vi) ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and policies; or
250 (b) whose proposed charter and proposed activities indicate students or advisors in club
251 related activities would as a substantial, material, or significant part of their conduct or means
252 of expression:
253 (i) encourage criminal or delinquent conduct;
254 (ii) promote bigotry;
255 (iii) involve human sexuality; or
256 (iv) involve any effort to engage in or conduct mental health therapy, counseling, or
257 psychological services for which a license would be required under state law.
258 (2) A school governing board has the authority to determine whether any club meets
259 the criteria of Subsection (1).
260 (3) If a school or school governing board limits or denies authorization to a club, the
261 school or school governing board shall provide, in writing, to the applicant the factual and legal
262 basis for the limitation or denial.
263 (4) A student's spontaneous expression of sentiments or opinions otherwise identified
264 in Subsection 53A-13-302 (1) is not prohibited.
265 Section 8. Section 53A-11-1207 is enacted to read:
266 53A-11-1207. Faculty oversight of authorized clubs.
267 (1) A school shall approve the faculty sponsor, supervisor, or monitor for each
268 authorized curricular, noncurricular, and religious club to provide oversight consistent with this
269 part and the needs of the school to ensure that the methods of expression, religious practices, or
270 other conduct of the students or advisors involved do not:
271 (a) unreasonably interfere with the ability of school officials to maintain order and
273 (b) unreasonably endanger or threaten the well-being of persons or property;
274 (c) violate concepts of civility or propriety appropriate to a school setting; or
275 (d) violate applicable laws, rules, regulations, and policies.
276 (2) (a) A school shall annually approve faculty members as sponsors of curricular
278 (b) Faculty sponsors shall organize and direct the purpose and activities of a curricular
280 (3) (a) A school shall approve faculty members to serve as supervisors for authorized
281 noncurricular clubs.
282 (b) A faculty supervisor shall provide oversight to ensure compliance with the
283 approved club purposes, goals, and activities and with the provisions of this part and other
284 applicable laws, rules, and policies.
285 (c) The approval of a faculty supervisor or monitor does not constitute school
286 sponsorship of the club.
287 (d) A faculty monitor approved for a religious club may not participate in the activities
288 of the religious club, except to perform the supervisory role required by this section.
289 (4) Without the prior approval by the school, a person who is not a school faculty
290 member or a club member may not:
291 (a) make a presentation to a noncurricular club; or
292 (b) direct, conduct, control, or regularly attend the meetings of a noncurricular club.
293 Section 9. Section 53A-11-1208 is enacted to read:
294 53A-11-1208. Use of school facilities by clubs.
295 (1) A school shall determine and assign school building use for curricular and
296 noncurricular clubs consistent with the needs of the school.
297 (2) The following rules apply to curricular clubs:
298 (a) in assigning school building use, the administrator may give priority to curricular
299 clubs over noncurricular clubs; and
300 (b) the school may provide financial or other support to curricular clubs.
301 (3) The following rules apply to noncurricular clubs:
302 (a) a preference or priority may not be given among noncurricular clubs;
303 (b) (i) a school shall only provide the space for noncurricular club meetings; and
304 (ii) a school may not spend public funds for noncurricular clubs, except as required to
305 implement the provisions of this part, including providing space and faculty oversight for
306 noncurricular clubs;
307 (c) a school shall establish the noninstructional times during which noncurricular clubs
308 may meet;
309 (d) a school may establish the places that noncurricular clubs may meet;
310 (e) a school may set the number of hours noncurricular clubs may meet per month,
311 provided that all noncurricular clubs shall be treated equally; and
312 (f) a school shall determine what access noncurricular clubs shall be given to the
313 school newspaper, yearbook, bulletin boards, or public address system, provided that all
314 noncurricular clubs shall be treated equally.
315 Section 10. Section 53A-11-1209 is enacted to read:
316 53A-11-1209. Club membership.
317 (1) A school shall require written parental or guardian consent for student participation
318 in all curricular and noncurricular clubs at the school.
319 (2) Membership in curricular clubs is governed by the following rules:
320 (a) (i) membership may be limited to students who are currently attending the
321 sponsoring school or school district; and
322 (ii) members who attend a school other than the sponsoring school shall have, in
323 addition to the consent required under Section 53A-11-1210 , specific parental or guardian
324 permission for membership in a curricular club at another school;
325 (b) (i) curricular clubs may require that prospective members try out based on objective
326 criteria outlined in the application materials; and
327 (ii) try-outs may not require activities that violate the provisions of this part and other
328 applicable laws, rules, and policies; and
329 (c) other rules as determined by the State Board of Education, school district, or
331 (3) Membership in noncurricular clubs is governed by the following rules:
332 (a) student membership in a noncurricular club is voluntary;
333 (b) membership shall be limited to students who are currently attending the school;
334 (c) (i) noncurricular clubs may require that prospective members try out based on
335 objective criteria outlined in the application materials; and
336 (ii) try-outs may not require activities that violate the provisions of this part and other
337 applicable laws, rules, and policies;
338 (d) a copy of any written or other media materials that were presented at a
339 noncurricular club meeting by a nonschool person shall be delivered to a school administrator
340 no later than 24 hours after the noncurricular club meeting and, if requested, a student's parent
341 or legal guardian shall have an opportunity to review those materials; and
342 (e) other rules as determined by the State Board of Education, school district, or
344 Section 11. Section 53A-11-1210 is enacted to read:
345 53A-11-1210. Parental consent.
346 (1) A school shall require written parental or guardian consent for student participation
347 in all curricular and noncurricular clubs at the school.
348 (2) The consent described in Subsection (1) shall include an activity disclosure
349 statement containing the following information:
350 (a) the specific name of the club;
351 (b) a statement of the club's purpose, goals, and activities;
352 (c) a statement of the club's categorization, which shall be obtained from the
353 application for authorization of a club in accordance with the provisions of Section
354 53A-11-1204 or 53A-11-1205 , indicating all of the following that may apply:
355 (i) athletic;
356 (ii) business/economic;
357 (iii) agriculture;
358 (iv) art/music/performance;
359 (v) science;
360 (vi) gaming;
361 (vii) religious;
362 (viii) community service/social justice; and
363 (ix) other;
364 (d) beginning and ending dates;
365 (e) a tentative schedule of the club activities with dates, times, and places specified;
366 (f) personal costs associated with the club, if any;
367 (g) the name of the sponsor, supervisor, or monitor who is responsible for the club; and
368 (h) any additional information considered important for the students and parents to
370 (3) All completed parental consent forms shall be filed by the parent or the club's
371 sponsor, supervisor, or monitor with the school's principal, the chief administrative officer of a
372 charter school, or their designee.
373 Section 12. Section 53A-11-1211 is enacted to read:
374 53A-11-1211. Violations -- Investigations -- School responses.
375 (1) A school shall investigate any report or allegation that an authorized curricular or
376 noncurricular club is:
377 (a) participating in activities beyond the scope of its purpose; or
378 (b) in violation of a provision of this part or another applicable law, rule, regulation, or
380 (2) After meeting with the faculty sponsor, faculty supervisor, or faculty monitor, the
381 students involved, and the person making the report or allegation, if a violation is substantiated,
382 the school may do any of the following:
383 (a) allow the club's original statement of its purpose, goals, and activities to be
384 modified to include the activities if they are in compliance with the provisions of this part and
385 other applicable laws, rules, regulations, or policies;
386 (b) instruct the faculty sponsor, supervisor, or monitor not to allow similar violations in
387 the future;
388 (c) limit or suspend the club's authorization or school building use pending further
389 corrective action as determined by the school; or
390 (d) terminate the club's authorization and dissolve the club.
391 (3) Any limitation on expression, practice, or conduct of any student, advisor, or guest
392 in a meeting of a curricular or noncurricular club, or limitation on school building use, shall be
393 by the least restrictive means necessary to satisfy the school's interests as identified in this part.
394 (4) A club that has been terminated in accordance with Subsection (2)(d) may not
395 reapply for authorization until the following school year.
396 (5) A student who makes a false allegation or report under this section shall be subject
397 to school discipline.
398 Section 13. Section 53A-11-1212 is enacted to read:
399 53A-11-1212. Appeals -- Procedures.
400 (1) (a) Each completed application or complaint shall be approved, denied, or
401 investigated by the school within a reasonable amount of time.
402 (b) If an application or complaint is denied, written reasons for the denial or results of
403 the investigation shall be stated and, if appropriate, suggested corrections shall be made to
404 remedy the deficiency.
405 (c) Each club that is denied school building use shall be informed at the time of the
406 denial of the factual and legal basis for the denial, and, if appropriate, how the basis for the
407 denial could be corrected.
408 (2) (a) If denied, suspended, or terminated, a club, student desirous of participating or
409 speaking, or a complaining parent or guardian, has ten school days from the date of the denial,
410 suspension, or termination to file a written appeal from the denial, suspension, or termination
411 to a designee authorized by the school governing board.
412 (b) The designee shall issue a determination within a reasonable amount of time from
413 receipt of the appeal, which decision is final and constitutes satisfaction of all administrative
414 remedies unless the time for evaluation is extended by agreement of all parties.
415 (3) A person directly affected by a decision made in accordance with the provisions of
416 this part may appeal the decision by writing to a person designated by the school governing
418 Section 14. Section 53A-11-1213 is enacted to read:
419 53A-11-1213. Rulemaking -- State Board of Education -- School governing
421 The State Board of Education may adopt additional rules and school governing boards
422 may adopt additional rules or policies governing clubs that do not conflict with the provisions
423 of this part.
424 Section 15. Section 53A-11-1214 is enacted to read:
425 53A-11-1214. Severability.
426 If any provision of this part or the application of any provision to any person or
427 circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this part shall be given effect without the invalid
428 provision or application.
429 Section 16. Section 53A-13-101.2 is amended to read:
430 53A-13-101.2. Waivers of participation.
431 (1) If a parent with legal custody or other legal guardian of a student, or a secondary
432 student, determines that the student's participation in a portion of the curriculum or in an
433 activity would require the student to affirm or deny a religious belief or right of conscience, or
434 engage or refrain from engaging in a practice forbidden or required in the exercise of a
435 religious right or right of conscience, the parent, guardian, or student may request:
436 (a) a waiver of the requirement to participate; or
437 (b) a reasonable alternative that requires reasonably equivalent performance by the
438 student of the secular objectives of the curriculum or activity in question.
439 (2) The school shall promptly notify a student's parent or guardian if the student makes
440 a request under Subsection (1).
441 (3) If a request is made under Subsection (1), the school shall:
442 (a) waive the participation requirement;
443 (b) provide a reasonable alternative to the requirement; or
444 (c) notify the requesting party that participation is required.
445 (4) The school shall ensure that the provisions of Subsection 53A-13-101.3 (3) are met
446 in connection with any required participation under Subsection (3)(c).
447 (5) A student's academic or citizenship performance may not be penalized by school
448 officials for the exercise of a religious right or right of conscience in accordance with the
449 provisions of this section.
461 Section 17. Repealer.
462 This bill repeals:
463 Section 53A-3-419, Limitations regarding access for student clubs and
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