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AGO 1952 No. 410 - September 30, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

SCHOOL DISTRICTS ‑- DIRECTORS ‑- POWER TO AUTHORIZE USE OF SCHOOL BUILDING FOR OTHER THAN SCHOOL PURPOSES.

In the exercise of their discretion the directors of a school district may legally permit the use of school buildings for meetings at which a speaker is to discuss controversial religious subjects or present matter in criticism of established organizations, institutions or churches.

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                                                              September 30, 1952 

Honorable R. DeWitt Jones
Prosecuting Attorney
Clark County
Vancouver, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 410

 Dear Sir:

             Your letter of August 22, 1952, states in part as follows:

             "I have recently been asked for an opinion advising whether or not the directors of a public school district may legally permit the use of school buildings for the purpose of speakers who are discussing a controversial subject or presenting matter in criticism of or condemnation of some established organization, institution or church."

             It is our conclusion that in the exercise of their discretion the directors of a school district may legally authorize the use of school buildings for meetings at which a speaker is to discuss controversial religious subjects or present matter in criticism of established organizations, institutions or churches.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             Under the provisions of RCW 28.58.100 (par. 10), the board of directors of every school district is empowered to

              [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "(10) Authorize schoolrooms to be used for summer or night schools, or for public, literary, scientific, religious, political, mechanical or agricultural meetings, under such regulations as the board of directors may adopt:"

             Under the statutory provision the directors of a school district are given broad discretionary power to permit the use of school buildings for meetings of the types designated.

             We are, therefore, of the opinion that in the exercise of their discretionary power, the directors of a school district may legally permit the use of school buildings for the purpose indicated in your letter of August 22, 1952.

 Very truly yours,
SMITH TROY
Attorney General 

FRED L. HARLOCKER
Assistant Attorney General

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