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Civil Rights of Students: Federal Laws

Numerous federal laws protect the civil rights of students in a wide range of areas. For example, The U.S. Constitution requires that all children be given an equal opportunity to receive an education. A number of other federal laws serve to prevent discrimination in education, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Below, you’ll find information and links on some of the most important laws protecting the rights of students:

  1. The United States Constitution
    Guarantees an equal educational opportunity for all children in the United States.

  2. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972
    Provides that no individual may be discriminated against on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

  3. Americans with Disabilities Act Title II
    Requires that state and local governments give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from all of their programs, services, and activities, e.g., public education.

  4. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504
    States that "no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination" in any program or activity that receives federal finance assistance.

  5. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
    Requires public schools to make available to all eligible children with disabilities a free public education appropriate to their individual needs.

  6. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
    Applies to any educational agency or institution to which funds have been made available under a program administered by the Secretary of Education. Sets out the requirements for the protection of parents and students.

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