Massachusetts - Alternatives to Exclusionary Discipline: Programs and Services

Programs And Services
Policy Type: 
statute; regulation

State law encourages districts to use alternatives to out-of-school suspension or expulsion, such as, in-school suspension, behavioral interventions, or restorative practices.

Massachusetts General Laws ch 71.37H Policies relative to conduct of teachers or students; student handbooks

(g) Under the regulations promulgated by the department, for each school that suspends or expels a significant number of students for more than 10 cumulative days in a school year, the commissioner shall investigate and, as appropriate, shall recommend models that incorporate intermediary steps prior to the use of suspension or expulsion. The results of the analysis shall be publicly reported at the school district level.

603 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 53.05 Alternatives to Suspension under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H¾

In every case of student misconduct for which suspension may be imposed, a principal shall exercise discretion in deciding the consequence for 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.
Source: Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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