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5210, Student Organizations

Student organizations having purposes and activities supportive of, and consistent with, the educational program of the North Colonie Central School District are encouraged and sanctioned. Such organizations must be approved by the School Principal according to an administrative procedure which takes into account the purposes, membership, activities, financing, and supervision of the proposed group. Any affiliation of a local student organization with any outside organization must be clearly described in writing, and a charter of the parent club must be made a part of the record at the time of application for approval. Membership shall be limited to students enrolled in the school.

The Board of Education recognizes the educational values inherent in student participation in the extracurricular life of the school, and supports the concept of the formation of student groups for such purposes as building sound social relationships, developing interests in an academic area, and gaining an understanding of the elements and responsibilities of good citizenship.

The Superintendent of Schools, with the aid of students, faculty and administration, is charged with developing procedures for registering and regulating student groups or clubs. Such procedures shall ensure that the district will register any group organized for a purpose acceptable according to Board policy, if such group submits a list of its members designated as contacts, a copy of its constitution and/or bylaws, the name of a faculty advisor, and the constitution and bylaws of any off-campus organization with which it may be affiliated. District sponsored student groups may not restrict membership on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, economic status, marital status, disability, genetic status, HIV or Hepatitis carrier status, or other arbitrary criteria that do not relate to the purpose of the group.

Non-sanctioned student groups have the right to use school facilities in accordance with the Equal Access Act. Administrative regulations governing the use of school facilities shall abide by the Equal Access Act in the creation of a “limited open forum.”

Cross-ref: 5280, Interscholastic Athletics

Ref: Education Law §§207; 1709-a; 2503-a; 2554-a
Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. §§4071-4074
8 NYCRR Part 172
Board of Education of the Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990) 
Garnett By Smith v. Renton School Dist. No. 403, 865 F.2d 1121 (9th Cir., 1989) 
Thompson v. Waynesboro Area School Dist., 673 F. Supp. 1379 (M.D. Pa. 1987)
Student Coalition v. Lower Merion School Dist. Bd., 633 F. Supp. 1040 (E.D. Pa. 1986)
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 89 S.Ct. 733 (1969)
Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169, 92 S.Ct. 2338 (1972)

Note: Prior policies, Student Organizations, 5133, 5133(b); and Open Access/Student Organizations, 5134

Policy Adopted: May 13, 1974
Amended: May 28, 1991
Amended: June 21, 1999
Amended: April 24, 2000
Amended: May 21, 2001