2016 Citizens Religious Freedom Institute Recap

This year’s Citizens Religious Freedom Institute, held this past week at Cottonwood Center for the Arts was included a presentation by local attorney Eric Hall and lively discussion of the application of the lessons presented. Educators and school administrators, as well as a few parents of students in local schools worked through the complexities of navigating religious freedom in the public school setting. Topics included the use of religious materials in lessons; religious materials in libraries; the right of individual students to practice their faith while in school; what rules apply to groups practicing acts of faith such as public prayer groups, prayers at sporting events, and after school clubs; religion at holiday times; how to maintain a respectful, inclusive environment for students; and much more.

Educators received continuing education credit via Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 and participants were given a plethora of resources to aid them in exploring for answers to their questions. Perhaps more valuable though was the opportunity to work through scenarios in teams and gain a broader perspective on each situation. Attendees said that they were more aware of how to not cross established boundaries and how to be respectful of others’ rights, as well as their own. One participant said that she felt that “the theme of valuing students and making them feel heard instead of just focusing on what’s legal was helpful” to her.

Again, Colorado Springs School District 11 had a very strong contingent of administrators, educators, and staff members, reinforcing their commitment to the values of respect and inclusion that Citizens Project promotes in our community.

Citizens Project proudly provides this opportunity to the public and is pursuing opportunities to bring this workshop to individual schools and districts in order to help the students of the Pikes Peak region to feel included and valued at their schools.

For more information, email info@citizensproject.org or call 719-520-9899.

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