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Alexandria 6/5/24

Your HEAV school board monitor team found several important concerns with the district’s religious exemption (RE) policy and regulation. These included a requirement for parents AND children, age 12 and older, to complete a “Religious Exemption Interview Form” and make an appointment to be interviewed in person by a public school district employee regarding the validity of their RE.

The regulation further placed authority into the hands of an employee to “evaluate if the requested exemption is due to bonafide religious training or belief” before it received “a recommendation” for submission to the school board by the superintendent.

Lastly, the district’s policy required parents who have already received an RE to resubmit an annual request to the superintendent or designee in order to renew the RE.

HEAV worked amicably with Alexandria’s attorney regarding these important concerns. After HEAV’s intervention, both the policy and the regulation have been revised to honor and protect the integrity and privacy of parents—and their minor children—seeking a religious exemption.

We are thankful to Alexandria’s attorney and school board for their attentive response and for this positive resolution.

What You Should Know:

  • The law assigns this authority to the local school board—not the superintendent, designee, or other employee—to act on behalf of the state Board of Education in receiving and acknowledging a religious exemption.
  • HEAV understands that religious exemption correspondence is personal, private, legal documentation. Only school board members should have access to religious exemption correspondence and discussion.

HEAV is always available should you ever have questions or need assistance. Please contact us anytime at 804-278-9200 or via our contact form.

Patricia Beahr
HEAV Assistant Director of Government Affairs

‌Read more about school district incidents here.

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