June 18, 2019

Boston Public Schools Student Rights and Education Law

School discipline laws in the Boston Public Schools have changed. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the following changes will take effect:

  • Students in grades K-2 cannot be suspended
  • Students in grades 3-5 can ONLY be suspended if they have assaulted another student or staff member and the principal thinks that the student is a danger if they remain in school, possessed a weapon or drugs on school grounds, engaged in sexual misconduct, violated another’s civil rights, or repeatedly bullied another person
  • Schools must engage in professional development for all educational staff to increase the use of alternative discipline methods that don’t keep students out of school

The Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) and the Boston Bar Association (BBA) have partnered to provide the public with free Know Your Rights presentations. Led by volunteer attorneys, these presentations will cover the important changes to school discipline laws that help to protect students’ rights. The presentations are part of the BBA’s work on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. If you think your school discipline rights or the rights of your child have been violated, contact GBLS at suspensions@gbls.org or 617-855-9560.

Additionally, the BBA has attorneys who can assist with a variety of education-related matters, including violations of student rights:

  • Special education disputes
  • Appealing disciplinary sanctions, including suspension and expulsion
  • Title IX cases
  • Defending students accused of violating their schools’ codes of conduct and honor codes
  • Representing students and faculty who are being censored or disciplined due to their speech or writing

To get in touch with a qualified education attorney, you can call the Boston Bar Association’s LRS at 617-742-0625, connect with an area attorney online 24/7 by clicking “Get Started” here, or by submitting an email request online today.