State Profile

School Discipline

State Profile - Massachusetts


School Discipline
What may a student be suspended or expelled for? Assault
Drug use/possession
Felony conviction
Firearm/weapon possession
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 71 § 37H
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 71 § 37H 1/2
603 Mass. Code Regs. 53.02
What must a student be suspended or expelled for? Not specified in statute or regulation. Gun Free Schools Act requirement exists in State Department of Education document.
Are there limitations placed on suspension or expulsion? Violation type: Students may not be suspended or expelled for conduct not connected with school activities, or for marriage, pregnancy or parenthood. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 71 § 84
Are there non-punitive approaches outlined as alternatives to suspension or expulsion? Alternatives to discipline: mediation, conflict resolution, restorative justice and positive interventions and supports.
Alternatives to discipline encouraged: Expulsions may only be used with discretion, after alternative strategies have been employed.
Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 71 § 37H 3/4
603 Mass. Code Regs. 53.05
Are there alternative schooling options available for students who are suspended or expelled? Yes. Education services must be made available to suspended or expelled students as part of the schoolwide education servcies plan. Any suspended or expelled student shall have the opportunity to earn credits, make up assignments, tests and papers to make academic progress. 603 Mass. Code Regs. 53.02
603 Mass. Code Regs. 53.13
When is a school required to involve law enforcement in student discipline? Violations concerning: Bullying or potentially criminal acts Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 71 § 37O
Is corporal punishment permitted? No. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 71 § 37G
Does the state outline reporting requirements for suspension and expulsion? Districts must report all suspensions and expulsions to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The department must make district level data available to the public--disaggregated by student status and other categories. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 71 § 37H

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