Grants Pass School District approves religious exemption policy

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The Grants Pass School District passed a new policy that will allow families to opt out of certain programs due to their religious beliefs at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

The new policy states students can be excused from required programs or learning activities for reasons deemed appropriate by the district, including religion and disability.

At the same time, one Josephine County woman told the board that the pledge of allegiance should be done by everyone regardless of their religion.

“I think we should have such pride in that all the students stand,” she said.  “They said some have sit out due to religious reasons and go back we can go back years ago.  And maybe for tradition that we stand.”

This isn’t the first potentially controversial decision by the school board.

On November 17, 2021, Grants Pass High School students walked out of class in protest after two educators were reinstated after being let go over supporting controversial legislation that there were only two anatomically correct genders.

The two educators sued the district for allegedly violating their first amendment rights, despite their reinstatement.

They are now appealing the judge’s decision after the lawsuit was dismissed earlier this year.

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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