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Madison Metropolitan School District

Employee Handbook 2021-2022


15.4 Academic Freedom
  1. No teacher may be disciplined or discriminated against in regard to terms or conditions of employment by the District on the basis of the teacher’s instructional presentations to students regarding facts and ideas concerning any subject of learning where such presentations are consistent with accepted standards of the teaching profession and relevant Board policies, including pedagogy such as:
    1. develops a classroom atmosphere in which pupils feel free to express opinions and challenge ideas,

    2. teaches respect for the opinions of others and develops skills of critical thinking,

    3. chooses suitable instructional materials presenting data on major points of view on issues being discussed,

    4. demonstrates by his/her own interpretations and actions rational methods of arriving at decisions,

    5. maintains at all times a decent respect for the dignity and worth of each individual,

    6. undertakes the presentation of a controversial issue to pupils only after careful study and planning,

    7. confers with the principal or staff specialist if there is doubt regarding the appropriateness of discussing a controversial issue,

    8. determines whether or not an issue raised by pupils is to be considered at the moment it arises,

    9. guides discussion toward constructive courses of action available within our framework of values,

    10. keeps in mind his/her position as moderator and participant in the classroom forum, and

    11. withholds the expression of his/her own opinion unless he/she is asked a direct question.

  2. No teacher may be disciplined or discriminated against in regard to terms or conditions of employment by the District for inviting a resource person into the school where the teacher has:

    1. informed the school administration of the plan to invite such resource person;

    2. received advance approval for the invitation of such resource person from the school administration. The teacher may appeal any denial of approval by the school administration to the Board of Education and shall abide by its decision. The District shall not discipline or discriminate against any teacher in regard to terms or conditions of employment because of the teacher having appealed the school administration’s decision to the Board of Education.

For additional information regarding the teaching of controversial issues see:

Board Policy 3170