Guest speakers in public school classrooms can significantly enrich the student learning experience. When teachers bring in a guest speaker to address religion, they are making available to their students expertise and insight that they could not otherwise make part of the learning experience. However, educators should choose guest speakers carefully to ensure that the speaker’s presentation is in the spirit of the 3Rs. Many religion in public school controversies have ignited over guest speakers welcomed into the classroom. In one case, an invited speaker in Tampa, Florida triggered a flood of 4,000 emails to the school district administration offices over concerns about religious and political indoctrination.
To mitigate potential controversy and to help teachers prepare their students to engage as citizens in a society with robust religious diversity, the Utah 3Rs Project curates a speakers bureau of community members who can address topics of religion appropriately in a public school setting. These carefully selected speakers understand that in public schools, religion is approached in an academic, not devotional manner. These speakers generously donate their time so students can prepare for their responsibilities as citizens.
Please complete the form below and we’ll be in touch with suggested speakers for your consideration. Then we’ll help you extend an invitation if you choose to move forward.
Our speakers can provide a basic overview of a particular faith community in an academic approach. They understand the First Amendment relationship of religion in public schools and the 3Rs framework. Please contact Eleesha Tucker, executive director of the Utah 3Rs Project at etucker@Utah3Rs.org, to explore further.
Learn more about how to promote the 3Rs — rights, responsibility, respect — in your school and community.