Massachusetts School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Grounds for Suspension or Expulsion

Discipline Compendium

Massachusetts School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Grounds for Suspension or Expulsion

Category: Exclusionary Discipline: Suspension, Expulsion, and Alternative Placement
Subcategory: Grounds for Suspension or Expulsion
State: Massachusetts

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ALM GL ch. 71, § 37H. Policies relative to conduct of teachers or students; student handbooks.

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, all student handbooks shall contain the following provisions:

(a) Any student who is found on school premises or at school-sponsored or school-related events, including athletic games, in possession of a dangerous weapon, including, but not limited to, a gun or a knife; or a controlled substance as defined in chapter ninety-four C, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, may be subject to expulsion from the school or school district by the principal.


603 CMR 53.02. Definitions.

Expulsion means the removal of a student from the school premises, regular classroom activities, and school activities for more than 90 school days, indefinitely, or permanently, as permitted under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H or 37H 1/2 for:

(a) possession of a dangerous weapon;

(b) possession of a controlled substance;

(c) assault on a member of the educational staff; or

(d) a felony charge or felony delinquency complaint or conviction, or adjudication or admission of guilt with respect to such felony, if a principal determines that the student's continued presence in school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school, as provided in M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H or 37H 1/2.

603 CMR 53.07. Emergency removal under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H 3/4.

(1) Nothing in 603 CMR 53.00 shall prevent a principal from removing a student from school temporarily when a student is charged with a disciplinary offense and the continued presence of the student poses a danger to persons or property, or materially and substantially disrupts the order of the school and, in the principal's judgment, there is no alternative available to alleviate the danger or disruption. The temporary removal shall not exceed two school days following the day of the emergency removal, during which time the principal shall:

(a) Make immediate and reasonable efforts to orally notify the student and the student's parent of the emergency removal, the reason for the need for emergency removal, and the other matters set forth in 603 CMR 53.06(2);

(b) Provide written notice to the student and parent as provided in 603 CMR 53.06(2);

(c) Provide the student an opportunity for a hearing with the principal that complies with 603 CMR 53.08(2) or (3), as applicable, and the parent an opportunity to attend the hearing, before the expiration of the two school days, unless an extension of time for hearing is otherwise agreed to by the principal, student, and parent.

(d) Render a decision orally on the same day as the hearing, and in writing no later than the following school day, which meets the requirements of 603 CMR 53.08(2)(c) and (d) or (3)(c) and (d), as applicable.

(2) A principal may not remove a student from school on an emergency basis for a disciplinary offense until adequate provisions have been made for the student's safety and transportation.

603 CMR 53.12. Disciplinary offenses under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H or 37H 1/2.

(1) School districts shall adopt disciplinary policies and procedures applicable to a student who is accused of a disciplinary offense under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H or 37H 1/2. Such policies and procedures shall be consistent with the applicable statute and provide due process of law.

(2) The principal may remove a student who has committed a disciplinary offense under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H or 37H 1/2 from school for more than 90 days in a school year.

(3) Any student who is removed from school for a disciplinary offense under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H or 37H 1/2 shall have an opportunity to receive education services and make academic progress during the period of removal, as provided in 603 CMR 53.13.

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