Student Rights
Minnesota’s constitution establishes the right to a free public education for all children in the state. Public school students have the right to attend school without having to pay for required textbooks or required field trips. More information about student fees is provided in Question and Answer pages in the Compliance and Assistance section.

Civil Rights Compliance
Each year, MDE conducts on-site reviews of select school districts to ensure that they are applying certain laws regarding civil rights discrimination in their vocational education programs.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. All school districts that receive federal funding are responsible for the implementation of this law. To help explain this law, the Division of Compliance and Assistance has written a Section 504 Manual, which is found on the Section 504 page.

Student Discipline and Truancy
The Pupil Fair Dismissal Act (PFDA) ensures students certain rights when disciplined and provides districts with procedures to follow. To learn more about student rights during an expulsion proceeding and to review a copy of the PFDA, see the Student Discipline and Truancy page.

Model School and District Policies
Students have a right to attend school in a safe and welcoming environment so that they can participate in educational activities and opportunities provided before, during and after school. This means an educational environment is free from bullying and harassment. If students experience harassment or bullying, they should feel safe to report the incident knowing that it will be investigated by school staff. MDE has developed model policies that are available for school districts and charter schools to adopt. Those model policies include the Crisis Management Policy, the Harassment Prohibition Policy, and the Hazing Prohibition Policy. View the model policies on the Model School and District Policies page.