Minnesota - Disciplinary Due Process: Program Requirement

Area: 
Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law provides comprehensive assurances of due process for students facing disciplinary action.

Minnesota Statutes 2018 Education Code, Chapter 121A Student rights, responsibilities, and behaviors 121A.47 Exclusion and expulsion procedures

Subdivision 1.  Requiring a hearing; pupil may waive hearing. No exclusion or expulsion shall be imposed without a hearing, unless the right to a hearing is waived in writing by the pupil and parent or guardian. The action shall be initiated by the school board or its agent.

Subd. 2.  Written notice. Written notice of intent to take action shall:
(a) be served upon the pupil and the pupil’s parent or guardian personally or by mail;
(b) contain a complete statement of the facts, a list of the witnesses and a description of their testimony;
(c) state the date, time, and place of the hearing;
(d) be accompanied by a copy of sections 121A.40 to 121A.56;
(e) describe alternative educational services accorded the pupil in an attempt to avoid the expulsion proceedings; and
(f) inform the pupil and parent or guardian of the right to:

  • (1) have a representative of the pupil’s own choosing, including legal counsel, at the hearing. The district shall advise the pupil’s parent or guardian that free or low-cost legal assistance may be available and that a legal assistance resource list is available from the Department of Education;
  • (2) examine the pupil’s records before the hearing;
  • (3) present evidence; and
  • (4) confront and cross-examine witnesses.

Subd. 3.  Hearing schedule. The hearing shall be scheduled within ten days of the service of the written notice unless an extension, not to exceed five days, is requested for good cause by the school board, pupil, parent or guardian.

Subd. 4.  Convenient time and place of hearing. The hearing shall be at a time and place reasonably convenient to pupil, parent or guardian.

Subd. 5.  Closed or open hearing. The hearing shall be closed unless the pupil, parent or guardian requests an open hearing.

Subd. 6.  Impartial hearer. The hearing shall take place before:

  • (1) an independent hearing officer;
  • (2) a member of the school board;
  • (3) a committee of the school board; or
  • (4) the full school board; as determined by the school board. The hearing shall be conducted in a fair and impartial manner.

Subd. 7.  Creating hearing record. The school board shall record the hearing proceedings at district expense, and a party may obtain a transcript at its own expense. Testimony shall be given under oath. The hearing officer or a member of the school board shall have the power to issue subpoenas and administer oaths.

Subd. 8.  Access to pupil’s records. At a reasonable time prior to the hearing, the pupil, parent or guardian, or representative, shall be given access to all public school system records pertaining to the pupil, including any tests or reports upon which the proposed action may be based.

Subd. 9.  Pupil’s right to compel testimony. The pupil, parent or guardian, or representative, shall have the right to compel the attendance of any official employee or agent of the public school system or any public employee or any other person who may have evidence upon which the proposed action may be based, and to confront and to cross-examine any witness testifying for the public school system.

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