To promote compliance with constitutional restrictions as well as observance of constitutional rights, the Board of Education shall, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, develop guidelines on constitutional rights and restrictions relating to prayer and other religious expression in the public schools. The Board’s guidelines shall include, but shall not be limited to, provisions that address the following: the initiative and involvement of local school boards, individual schools, administrators, teachers, and students; the use of school facilities and equipment, including audio systems, and class time for prayer or other religious expression; and relevant state and federal constitutional concerns, such as freedom of religion and speech and separation of church and state. These guidelines shall not be subject to the requirements of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). However, in order to provide appropriate opportunity for input from the general public, teachers, and local school boards, the Board of Education shall conduct public hearings prior to establishing such guidelines. Thirty days prior to conducting such hearings, the Board shall give written notice by mail of the date, time, and place of the hearings to all local school boards and any other persons requesting to be notified of the hearings and publish notice of its intention to hold such hearings in the Virginia Register of Regulations. Interested parties shall be given reasonable opportunity to be heard and present information prior to the adoption of such guidelines.
1994, c. 801, § 22.1-280.3; 2001, cc. 688, 820.