Milwaukee Public Schools wants all students to reach their full potential. To do so, it is essential that schools be free of disruption. As a student, you are asked to respect the rights of all members of the school family – teachers, administrators, parents, support staff and other students. Discipline procedures are put in place to ensure a safe, respectful environment in and around all schools.
The Parent/Student Handbook on Rights, Responsibilities, and Discipline is published annually in August. All MPS households receive a copy via mail. Parents who move during the school year are urged to report the change of address to the Department of Family and Student Services to ensure continued receipt.
Students’ Bill of Rights
As a student, you have the right to:
- Freedom of expression as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution
- Assemble and associate with other students subject to reasonable rules set by the school regarding time and place
- Publish materials provided that they are within the laws of libel and obscenity. The principal or a designee must approve publications that are distributed within the building
- Petition the principal provided the petition is free of obscenities, libelous statements and personal attacks. The school may limit the time in which signatures on a petition are gathered so classes and the orderly operation of the school are not affected. No student will be penalized for signing a petition
- Refrain from participation in patriotic ceremonies according to state law that reads: “No student shall be compelled against his objections or those of his parents or guardian to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.” You do not need permission from your parents to refrain from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Students must, however, respect the rights of other students to participate by remaining silent during the pledge or other patriotic ceremonies. Students have the right to remain seated during the playing or singing of the Star Spangled Banner or national anthems of other countries
- Post bulletins on school bulletin boards, provided the principal or his/her designee has approved them. The student’s name must be on the posting. Postings cannot be obscene, libelous or likely to cause disruption
- Organize clubs, provided the principal approves and a teacher agrees to be faculty advisor. All students are free to join any club. Clubs must follow rules regarding the time they meet and the use of facilities and must not cause disruption within the school
- Request religious accommodation to study and practice a faith. State law says: “Any school board … shall permit students with written permission from parents to be absent from school for up to 180 minutes per week to obtain religious 15 instruction outside the school during the required school period.” Absence for religious observation is excusable and students are allowed to make up missed class work. Transportation between the school and religious instruction is the responsibility of the parent or religious organization. The school district is not liable for students who are absent from school for religious instruction. See the Student Non-Discrimination Policy in the Rights and Responsibilities for information on how to file a complaint about religious discrimination
- Vote in local, state and national elections, provided you are 18 years of age or older.