Massachusetts School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Limitations or Conditions on Exclusionary Discipline

Discipline Compendium

Massachusetts School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Limitations or Conditions on Exclusionary Discipline

Category: Exclusionary Discipline: Suspension, Expulsion, and Alternative Placement
Subcategory: Limitations or Conditions on Exclusionary Discipline
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.

ALM GL ch. 76, § 17. Hearing prerequisite to exclusion.

A school committee shall not permanently exclude a pupil from the public schools for alleged misconduct without first giving him and his parent or guardian an opportunity to be heard.


603 CMR 18.05. Required policies and procedures.

(6) Suspension.

(c) No student may be suspended and sent home unless a responsible adult is available to receive the student.

(d) Once a student has been suspended for three consecutive school days or five non-consecutive school days in a school year, the school, parents, and public school district, consistent with federal requirements, shall explore together all possible program modifications within the school in an attempt to prevent total suspension of the student from the program.

603 CMR 53.01. Purpose and scope.

(1) The purpose of 603 CMR 53.00 is:

(a) for those discipline offenses subject to M.G.L. 71, § 37H 3/4 , as set forth in 603 CMR 53.01(2)(a), to limit the use of long-term suspension as a consequence for student misconduct until other consequences have been considered and tried as appropriate.

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.

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