The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 1051. Statement of public policy
It is the policy of the State of Vermont to cooperate with religious groups by adjusting the schedule of public schools to provide periodic released time for religious instruction, provided that such adjustments do not interfere with the conduct of secular educational programs in the schools. (Added 1969, No. 260 (Adj. Sess.), eff. Sept. 1, 1970.)
§ 1052. Definitions and construction
(a) As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise clearly requires:
(1) "Periodic released time" means time, occurring at least once weekly, during which public school students are released from school to attend religious education courses sponsored by and given under the authority of a religious group.
(2) "Religious group" means any association of persons for religious purposes, including any organization of religious denominations, communions, or traditions.
(3) "Periodic released time religious education course" means a course offered by a religious group during periodic released time.
(b) This chapter shall be construed liberally to carry out the policies stated herein. (Added 1969, No. 260 (Adj. Sess.), eff. Sept. 1, 1970; amended 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 111, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)
§ 1053. Duty to cooperate in periodic released time program
If requested by a religious group, the board of directors or trustees of a school district shall make available periodic released time, provided that the granting of released time will not interfere with the conduct of secular education programs within the school system. On request of a religious group, periodic released time religious education courses shall be included in public school catalogues and listings of course offerings, provided that all periodic released time religious education course offerings shall be identified as given under the provisions of this chapter. (Added 1969, No. 260 (Adj. Sess.), eff. Sept. 1, 1970.)
§ 1054. Prohibitions
(a) No person shall conduct a periodic released time religious education course on public school property.
(b) No periodic released time program shall interfere with the completion by any student of requirements for graduation as established from time to time by the Agency.
(c) No administrator or teacher in a public school cooperating in a periodic released time program shall direct a student to take or not to take a periodic released time course. (Added 1969, No. 260 (Adj. Sess.), eff. Sept. 1, 1970; amended 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 112, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)
§ 1055. Conditions
(a) No student may take a periodic released time religious education course without first having obtained:
(1) written permission from parent or guardian containing a release of the school from all legal responsibility for the student while engaged in the periodic released time program; and
(2) written permission from the sponsoring religious group to attend such course.
(b) All costs of periodic released time religious education courses shall be borne by the sponsoring religious group. (Added 1969, No. 260 (Adj. Sess.), eff. Sept. 1, 1970.)