Student Civil Rights

  • All students have the right to attend a safe and affirming schoolDPSCD does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, religion, height, weight, citizenship, marital or family status, military status, ancestry, genetic information, or any other legally protected category.

Things to Know

    • Bullying, Harassment, and Sexual Harassment: Schools must address all bullying and harassment they know about.  It is important to report any instances of bullying or harassment to a teacher, school staff, or administrator, whether it happens to a student or is something witnessed.  
    • Disability Rights: Students with disabilities cannot be denied equal access to classes, field trips, extracurricular activities, school technology, and health services.  Schools must also provide necessary accommodation for students with disabilities.   
    • Immigrant Rights: Students, regardless of immigration status, cannot be turned away and must be provided language instruction if needed. In addition, families are entitled to receive communication from schools and the District in their preferred language.   
    • Dress Codes: Dress codes must be enforced equally and must not promote gender stereotypes. Students should not be punished for wearing clothing promoting political or counter-cultural messages if they are free of obscenity.  Also, dress codes cannot infringe on a student’s religious rights by barring rosaries, headscarves, and other religious symbols. 
    • Free Speech: Students have the right to express themselves provided they are not causing substantial disruption to the learning environment, are not engaging in bullying or harassing behavior, and are not using profanity.   
    • LGBTQ+ Rights:  Schools are not allowed to “out” students, overlook bullying, force students to wear clothing inconsistent with their gender identity or bar LGBTQ+-themed clubs.  Students should also be addressed by their preferred names and gender pronouns.   

    If you feel a student's civil rights or those of someone in the school community have been violated, make sure to tell a teacher or school administrator.  You can also report concerns directly to the Office of Equity, Advocacy & Civil Rights by following the Have a Concern link.