Student Maltreatment

The Student Maltreatment Program assesses and investigates reports of alleged physical abuse, neglect or sexual abuse of children that occurs in Minnesota public schools.

Our trained maltreatment investigators review each report and determine whether maltreatment occurred and whether an individual or facility is responsible. We are a third-party, unbiased, investigation team and do not represent or advocate for any parties involved in the investigation process.

Where Do You Start?

If you suspect that maltreatment has occurred, please complete the Confidential Maltreatment Reporting form and email it to the Minnesota Department of Education Student Maltreatment Program or fax it to 651-797-1601. You may also call our 24-hour reporting line at: 651-582-8546. 

Please note: In cooperation with Governor Walz's March 25, 2020, Executive Order directing all Minnesotan's to stay home beginning March 27, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. through April 10, 2020, at 5 p.m., the Student Maltreatment Program is unable to receive and assess reports of alleged maltreatment that are received via United States Postal Service. The Student Maltreatment Program will continue to respond to reports of alleged maltreatment of students submitted via email or fax, as provided above. For further assistance, please call the Student Maltreatment Program 24-hour reporting line at 651-582-8546.
Minnesota state law requires mandated reporters who suspect maltreatment to file a report within 24 hours. Maltreatment includes physical abuse, neglect, mental injury and sexual abuse.

Who is Required to Report?

Any person employed by a school or within the field of education is a mandated reporter and must report allegations of child maltreatment. If you have reason to suspect a child has been abused or neglected in a public school, you should report the incident to the Minnesota Department of Education, Student Maltreatment Program. If you believe that a crime has been committed, you must also report to local law enforcement.

Alleged child maltreatment that has occurred in family, family childcare and foster care settings should be reported to your local child welfare system. Any incidents of alleged maltreatment occurring in licensed facilities, including group homes and residential programs, should be referred to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Licensing Division at 651-431-6600.

If you are not sure where to report, please contact our office, and we will direct you to the proper resource.

What Happens After a Report is Submitted?

Once a report is received, we will review it and gather additional information from the reporter, parents, principal or other administrator, and any other relevant individuals. We are required to notify parents of all reports received.

Once we obtain sufficient information, we make a decision to either open the case for investigation or to screen the report out in accordance with statutory regulations.

What Happens After a Decision to Investigate is Made?

When we make a decision to open a case for investigation, the case is assigned to one of our maltreatment investigators to conduct a neutral, unbiased review of the allegations. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Contacting principals to request relevant documentation.
  • Notifying the alleged offender of allegations and obtaining a statement.
  • Setting up interviews with alleged victim and any potential witnesses.
  • Working with law enforcement, when relevant and necessary.

What Happens When the Investigation is Complete?

Once an investigation is complete, we will issue a determination report stating the outcome of the investigation. The determination report will also include the length of time records will be kept by MDE and information related to the appeals process. The investigator sends the determination report to the school board chair, school administrator, alleged offender, parent of the alleged victim and any appropriate licensing board, if applicable.

MDE does not assert or take any disciplinary action regarding employment status. Rather, the school district or appropriate licensing agency will address if necessary.

  • Confidential Maltreatment Reporting Form - 10/18/16
    Confidential reporting form to be completed and forwarded to the Student Maltreatment Program of the Minnesota Department of Education for review of alleged maltreatment of a minor in a public school facility by school personnel. Please submit this form either as an email attachment to or by Fax to 651-797-1601.
  • Student Maltreatment Information Sheet - 6/21/16
    This information sheet provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding student maltreatment, reporting requirements, and MDE's investigative process.

Training: Student Maltreatment

Translated Documents

Close-up of Individuals Taking Notes During an Interview
The Minnesota Department of Education is the Agency Responsible for Investigating Reports of Alleged Abuse of Children that Takes place in Public Schools by School Employees

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