Is there a state law requiring public schools to recognize Wednesday (or any other day) as a "church" day or "religion" day. If so, what are the requirements of this law? (i.e. - homework, extra-curricular activities, etc.)
There is no state law requiring schools to recognize Wednesdays as a "church" or "religion" day. In many school districts in Montana, Wednesdays have traditionally been reserved for religious activities after school hours. Montana practices strong local control of its schools and therefore each school district sets its own policies regarding homework and/or extra-curricular activities.
The Montana High School Association does not schedule athletic competitions on Wednesdays. For more information regarding their policies please call MHSA at 442-6010.
Section 20-1-308 which is reproduced below provides that the trustees MAY provide for a religious instruction released time program.
20-1-308. Religious instruction released time program. (1) The trustees of a school district may provide for a religious instruction released time program under which a pupil may be released from regular school attendance for the purpose of receiving religious instruction upon written request, renewed at least annually, of the pupil's parent or guardian. The trustees shall determine the amount of time for which a pupil may be released for religious instruction. (2) A religious instruction released time program may not be established or administered in such a way that public school property is utilized for the purpose of religious instruction. (3) Public money may not be used, directly or indirectly, for the religious instruction. (4) Any period for which a pupil is released under a religious instruction released time program is part of the school day and week for purposes of 20-1-301, 20-1-302, 20-5-103, 20-9-311, and all other provisions of Title 20, and the release may not adversely affect the pupil's attendance record
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