Massachusetts School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Alternatives to Suspension

Discipline Compendium

Massachusetts School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Alternatives to Suspension

Category: In-School Discipline
Subcategory: Alternatives to Suspension
State: Massachusetts

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ALM GL ch. 71, § 37H3/4. Suspension or expulsion on grounds other than those set forth in Sections 37H or 37H1/2.

(b) Any principal, headmaster, superintendent or other person acting as a decision-maker at a student meeting or hearing, when deciding the consequences for the student, shall exercise discretion; consider ways to re-engage the student in the learning process; and avoid using expulsion as a consequence until other remedies and consequences have been employed.


603 CMR 53.02. Definitions.

In-school Suspension means removal of a student from regular classroom activities, but not from the school premises, for no more than ten consecutive school days, or no more than ten school days cumulatively for multiple infractions during the school year. Removal solely from participation in extracurricular activities or school-sponsored events, or both, shall not count as removal in calculating school days. In-school suspension for ten days or less, consecutively or cumulatively during a school year, shall not be considered a short-term suspension under these regulations. If a student is placed in in-school suspension for more than ten days, consecutively or cumulatively during a school year, such suspension shall be deemed a long-term suspension for due process, appeal, and reporting purposes.

603 CMR 53.05. Alternatives to suspension under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H 3/4.

In every case of student misconduct for which suspension may be imposed, a principal shall exercise discretion in deciding the consequencefor the offense; consider ways to reengage the student in learning; and avoid using long-term suspension from school as a consequence until alternatives have been tried. Alternatives may include the use of evidence-based strategies and programs such as mediation, conflict resolution, restorative justice, and positive interventions and supports.

603 CMR 53.10. In-school suspension under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H 3/4.

(1) The principal may use in-school suspension as an alternative to short-term suspension for disciplinary offenses.

(2) The principal may impose an in-school suspension for a disciplinary offense under 603 CMR 53.10, provided that the principal follows the process set forth in 603 CMR 53.10(3) through (5) and the student has the opportunity to make academic progress as set forth in 603 CMR 53.13(1).

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