Getting Involved





Getting Involved

Table of Contents

Policy 600.16 – Study of Controversial Issues



Board Policy

  1. The Board holds that one of the fundamental purposes of education is to teach youth how to think and take a position when confronted with alternative choices. Therefore, schools have an obligation to allow students a forum for examination and discussion of controversial issues which arise in connection with the instructional program.  An issue shall be considered controversial if it is socially unresolved, generates highly divergent opinions, and may be considered an unsuitable curriculum topic by some members of the community. The Board recognizes a need for regulations to govern the examination and discussion of instructional material which is currently or potentially controversial.
  2. The Board authorizes the Superintendent and District Administration to establish administrative regulations consistent with this policy.



Study of Controversial Issues - 600.16-1

Controversial issues are not intended to be part of the regular school curriculum. If and when controversial issues arise out of the normal student/teacher interaction and discussion, employees shall adhere to the following regulations:
  1. Controversial issues may be introduced into the curriculum for one or more of the following expected student outcomes.
    1. Learning to analyze current political, economic and social problems of major concern.
    2. Learning to differentiate fact from opinion and/or propaganda.
    3. Learning to identify and analyze prejudice.
    4. Learning to form and express personal opinions in a courteous, respectful manner without jeopardizing peer, teacher, or school relationships.
    5. Learning respect for the concept of majority and minority opinion and the resulting impact on the societal process.
    6. Learning to draw intelligent conclusions from facts which may serve as a basis for forming personal opinion.
    7. The proposed lesson is appropriate to the grade level and subject of the class where it is to be presented.
  2. Before controversial issues may be introduced into the curriculum, the following criteria must be met:
    1. A detailed outline of both the curriculum unit and proposed lesson must be prepared by the teacher and submitted to the principal. If a guest speaker is to be invited, the teacher shall include a completed Guest Speaker Request Form.
    2. The principal shall review the curriculum unit, lesson outline, and Guest Speaker Request Form and determine if the criteria outlined under Item A will be met. The principal shall then approve or deny the request and notify the teacher of the decision in writing within five (5) working days.
    3. If the request is denied, the teacher may appeal the principal’s decision to the School Community Council. An appeal to the School Community Council shall be conducted as follows:
      1. Within a reasonable time frame (recommended: 10 days), a quorum of the official designated membership of the School Community Council shall convene to hear the appeal.
      2. The School Community Council shall hear testimony from the principal, teacher, and other individuals as deemed necessary.
      3. Following testimony, the School Community Council shall deliberate and reach a decision. Neither the principal nor the teacher shall be present during the deliberation.
      4. The School Community Council shall issue a decision in writing to both the principal and the teacher.
  3. When controversial material has been approved for introduction into the curriculum, the instructor is responsible to:
    1. Be well-informed on the controversial issue to be introduced.
    2. Prepare lesson plans which include clear, concise goals for the study unit.
    3. Notify parents of the proposed study unit.
    4. Give students the option, without penalty, of attending an alternate activity of similar value during the presentation of the controversial material.
    5. See that the controversial issue is studied in an objective and scholarly manner that includes the presentation of differing viewpoints.
    6. Maintain an impartial, unprejudiced role throughout the presentation.
    7. Emphasize the academic aspect of the issue and refrain from advocating a position.
  4. Guest speakers on controversial issues
    1. Guest speakers shall agree in advance to abide by the guidelines outlined in this policy, and to refrain from discussions which go beyond the course-relevant content.
    2. The teacher shall be responsible to monitor the guest presentation in its entirety and halt the presentation if course content guidelines are violated.
    3. If the guest speaker is presenting only one point of view on a many-sided issue, the teacher shall be responsible to see that students also receive information on differing viewpoints.







Document History

Adopted – 4.21.1992.

This online presentation is an electronic representation of the Canyons School District’s currently adopted policy manual. It does not reflect updating activities in progress. The official, authoritative manual is available for inspection in the office of the Superintendent located at 9361 South 300 East Sandy, UT 84070.

Board Meeting Schedule

PUBLIC NOTICE is hereby given that the Board of Education for Canyons School District will hold a regular study session and public business meeting at the Canyons District Office building, 9361 S. 300 E., Sandy, UT each month unless otherwise posted. The Board may determine to conduct some business during a study session. All business meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. unless changed by the Board and appropriately posted for the public.

Please note that ALL DATES, TIMES and LOCATIONS listed on this scheduled are TENTATIVE and are subject to change at any time.  Please check this schedule often to be informed of any changes.

Unless otherwise specified, all meetings in the schedule below will take place as the Canyons District Office located at 9361 S. 300 E. in Sandy, Utah.

District Leaders

Dr. Rick Robins


Dr. Rick L. Robins is the superintendent of Canyons School District. Dr. Robins, who was selected by the Canyons Board of Education after a national search, brings 24 years of experience as an educator to his role as the chief executive officer of Utah’s fifth-largest school district. Prior to joining Canyons, Dr. Robins, who earned an Ed.D. from the University of Las Vegas, for six years was Superintendent of the Juab School District, based in Nephi, Utah. While there, Dr. Robins, who also was the Juab High School Principal from 2009-2013, helped oversee efforts to improve the district’s graduation rate to 97 percent, a double-digit increase over a 10-year period. Other innovations he led in Juab included a partnership with Arizona State University for blended-learning opportunities; the launch of a districtwide competency-based personalized learning model driven by a 1:1 technology initiative and standards-based reporting system; and the construction of the STEM-focused West Campus Innovations Center, funded largely through private and corporate sponsorships. Dr. Robins began his career as a history teacher at Copper Hills High in the Jordan School District and has worked as an assistant principal and principal in the Alpine, Nebo and Juab school districts. He was the 2012 Utah High School Principal of the Year for the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2014 earned the Lexington Institute Superintendent Fellowship Award presented to innovative superintendents across the country. Dr. Robins was starting quarterback for the football team at Southern Utah University Thunderbirds from 1991-1995, and in 2013 was inducted into SUU’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He has four children and one grandchild.

Leon Wilcox

Business Administrator and CFO

Leon Wilcox is a seasoned professional with 20 years of governmental accounting experience, with an emphasis on financial reporting, budgeting, and auditing. As Canyons District’ Director of Accounting from 2009-2013, Wilcox was intricately involved with the 2009 division of $1.5 billion in assets of the former Jordan School District, and was responsible for establishing Canyons’ original and subsequent budgets. Wilcox, a certified public accountant who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Utah State University, also has worked nine years in the Granite School District and six years in the State Auditor’s Office.

Supervises:  Accounting and Budget Services, Facilities and Maintenance, Insurance, New Construction Budget, Nutrition Services, Purchasing, Payroll

Dr. Robert M. Dowdle

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and School Performance

Robert Dowdle has a Doctor of Education degree with an emphasis in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah, and more than 31 years of experience as a teacher and educational leader. He began his career at Mount Jordan Middle School, where he taught Earth Science, English and Social Studies. He later taught Advanced Placement Economics, U.S. History and World History at Bingham High School, and served as Principal of Jordan High School and Assistant Principal for Alta High School and Brighton High School. Dowdle has served in the District office for 11 years as Assistant Superintendent. This role has included various leadership responsibilities, including Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Dowdle currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and School Performance.

Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

Specialty Schools

High Schools

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Statement

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