Disciplinary Due Process: Chapter 222

DISCIPLINARY DUE PROCESS

Chapter 222 of the Acts of 2012; 603 CMR 53.00

 

Nothing in 603 CMR 53.00 shall prevent a school administrator from conducting an investigation, including student interviews, of a school-related disciplinary incident.

 

  1. Short Term Disciplinary Sanctions: Prior to the imposition of any disciplinary sanction that may result in a student’s suspension from school for ten (10) consecutive school days or less, the student will be given oral notice of the offense with which he/she is charged and an opportunity to respond. In the event the principal determines that the student will be suspended from school, the student and parent/guardian must first receive notification by telephone (or in person) and in writing of the charges; the reasons for the suspension or exclusion; the opportunity to meet with the principal or designee to discuss the charges; and the reasons for the suspension or exclusion taking effect. The student will have the opportunity to make up assignments, tests, papers, and other school work as needed to make continued academic progress.

 

2.Long Term Disciplinary Sanctions:

 

Prior to the imposition of any disciplinary sanction that might result in the student’s suspension for more than ten (10) consecutive school days or expulsion, the parent(s)/guardian(s) must first be given oral and written notice of a must first receive notification by telephone (or in person) and in writing of the charges; the reasons for the suspension or exclusion; the expected length of the suspension; and the opportunity for a hearing with the principal at which they may be represented by an attorney at their expense and may examine and present witnesses and documentary evidence.

 

Following this hearing, the decision maker (principal) will issue a written decision. The written decision shall inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) and student of the student’s right to receive education services, such as the opportunity to earn credits, make up assignments, tests, papers and other school work as needed to make academic progress during the period of his or her removal from the classroom or school. This notice shall be provided in English and the primary language spoken in the student’s home if other than English, and the notice shall include the school’s Education Service Plan, which provides a list of the specific education services that are available during the student’s removal from school and contact information for school personnel who will be able to provide information about accessing such services.

 

The parent(s)/guardian(s) will have the right to appeal any decision imposing a long-­term exclusion from school. Where the student is excluded in accordance with M.G.L. c. 71 §37H, the student shall have ten (10) days from the effective date of the exclusion to file a written appeal with the superintendent of schools. For exclusions imposed pursuant to M.G.L. c.71 §37H1/2 and M.G.L. c.71, 37H 3/4, the student shall have five (5) days from the effective date of the exclusion to file a written appeal with the superintendent. For exclusions imposed by the school committee in accordance with M.G.L. c.76 §17, the student shall have the right to file a written request for reconsideration by the committee within ten (10) days of the effective date of the exclusion. Pending the outcome of any such appeal, the disciplinary sanction imposed shall remain in effect. M.G.L. c. 76 §17, M.G.L. c. 71 §37H, M.G.L. c. 71 §37H1/2. M.G.L. c.71, §37H 3/4.

 

3.Students with Disabilities: Students who have been identified as students with disabilities in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or who the school has reason to believe might be eligible for special education services are entitled to additional procedural protections when a disciplinary exclusion is considered. Prior to the imposition of any disciplinary sanction that would result in a change in placement; the student’s Team will meet to determine whether the student’s conduct was a manifestation of the student’s disability. If the Team determines that the conduct was a manifestation of the student’s disability shall review any existing behavior plan or, if no such behavior plan exists, conduct a functional behavioral assessment. In many cases, a student with a disability will be entitled to services identified by the student’s Team as necessary to provide the student with a free appropriate public education during periods of disciplinary exclusion exceeding ten (10) school days in a given year. For additional information regarding the rights of students with disabilities in the context of school discipline please contact the Melrose Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for PPS or the building principal.

 

Please see http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/advisory/discipline/QA.html for further information.

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