State law provides comprehensive assurances of due process for students facing disciplinary action.
Site addresses procedural due process rights in student discipline for expulsion.
Minnesota Statutes 121A.42 Policy
No public school shall deny due process or equal protection of the law to any public school pupil involved in a dismissal proceeding which may result in suspension, exclusion, or expulsion.
Minnesota Statutes 121A.46 Suspension procedures
Subdivision 1. Informal administrative conference before suspension. — The school administration shall not suspend a pupil from school without an informal administrative conference with the pupil. The informal administrative conference shall take place before the suspension, except where it appears that the pupil will create an immediate and substantial danger to self or to surrounding persons or property, in which case the conference shall take place as soon as practicable following the suspension.
Subd. 2. Administrator notifies pupil of grounds for suspension. — At the informal administrative conference, a school administrator shall notify the pupil of the grounds for the suspension, provide an explanation of the evidence the authorities have, and the pupil may present the pupil’s version of the facts.
Subd. 3. Written notice of grounds for suspension. — A written notice containing the grounds for suspension, a brief statement of the facts, a description of the testimony, a readmission plan, and a copy of sections 121A.40 to 121A.56, shall be personally served upon the pupil at or before the time the suspension is to take effect, and upon the pupil’s parent or guardian by mail within 48 hours of the conference. The district shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parents of the suspension by telephone as soon as possible following suspension. In the event a pupil is suspended without an informal administrative conference on the grounds that the pupil will create an immediate and substantial danger to surrounding persons or property, the written notice shall be served upon the pupil and the pupil’s parent or guardian within 48 hours of the suspension. Service by mail is complete upon mailing.
Subd. 4. Suspension pending expulsion or exclusion hearing. — Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions 1 and 3, the pupil may be suspended pending the school board’s decision in the expulsion or exclusion hearing; provided that alternative educational services are implemented to the extent that suspension exceeds five days.
Minnesota Statutes 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.
Minnesota Statutes 121A.49 Appeal
A party to an exclusion or expulsion decision made under sections 121A.40 to 121A.56 may appeal the decision to the commissioner of education within 21 calendar days of school board action. Upon being served with a notice of appeal, the district shall provide the commissioner and the parent or guardian with a complete copy of the hearing record within five days of its receipt of the notice of appeal. All written submissions by the appellant must be submitted and served on the respondent within ten days of its actual receipt of the transcript. All written submissions by the respondent must be submitted and served on the appellant within ten days of its actual receipt of the written submissions of the appellant. The decision of the school board must be implemented during the appeal to the commissioner.
In an appeal under this section, the commissioner may affirm the decision of the agency, may remand the decision for additional findings, or may reverse or modify the decision if the substantial rights of the petitioners have been prejudiced because the administrative findings, inferences, conclusions, or decisions are:
(1) in violation of constitutional provisions;
(2) in excess of the statutory authority or jurisdiction of the school district;
(3) made upon unlawful procedure, except as provided in section 121A.48;
(4) affected by other error of law;
(5) unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record submitted; or
(6) arbitrary or capricious.
The commissioner or the commissioner’s representative shall make a final decision based upon the record. The commissioner shall issue a decision within 30 calendar days of receiving the entire record and the parties’ written submission on appeal. The commissioner’s decision shall be final and binding upon the parties after the time for appeal expires under section 121A.50.