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Appendix IV: Excused Absences for Religious Holy Days

Revision to Appendix IV approved on 3/21/2005 by Faculty Senate and signed by the President on 10/18/2005. This rule change is effective 10/25/2005. Please see Current Appendix IV for up to date information.


BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Chapter 51, Education Code, is amended by adding Section 51.911 to read as follows:


(a) In this section:

  1. “Institution of higher education” has the meaning assigned by Subdivision (7) of Section 61.003 of this code, but includes the Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf and Texas State Technical Institute.
  2. “Religious holy day” means a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20, Tax Code.

(b) An institution of higher education shall allow a student who is absent from classes for the observance of a religious holy day to take an examination or complete an assignment scheduled for that day within a reasonable time after the absence if, not later than the 15th day after the first day of the semester, the student notified the instructor of each class the student had scheduled on that date that the student would be absent for a religious holy day.

(c) The notification provided by Subsection (b) of this section shall be in writing and shall be delivered by the student personally to the instructor of each class, with receipt of the notification acknowledged and dated by the instructor or by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the instructor of each class.

(d) A student who is excused under this section may not be penalized for the absence, but the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete the assignment or examination.

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