Education Laws and Regulations

603 CMR 53.00

Student Discipline — Effective July 1, 2014


  • 53.01: Purpose and Scope
  • 53.02: Definitions
  • 53.03: Policies and Procedures
  • 53.04: Investigation of Disciplinary Incidents
  • 53.05: Alternatives to Suspension under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H¾
  • 53.06: Notice of Suspension and Hearing under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H¾
  • 53.07: Emergency Removal under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H¾
  • 53.08: Principal's Hearing under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H¾
  • 53.09: Superintendent's Hearing under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H¾
  • 53.10: In-School Suspension under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H¾
  • 53.11: Exclusion from Extracurricular Activities and School-Sponsored Events
  • 53.12: Disciplinary Offenses under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H or 37H½
  • 53.13: Education Services and Academic Progress under M.G.L. c. 71, §§ 37H, 37H½, 37H¾
  • 53.14: Student Suspension and Expulsion Data Collection and Reporting
  • View All Sections

The Student Discipline Regulations were approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on April 29, 2014. They are effective July 1, 2014.

53.06: Notice of Suspension and Hearing under M.G.L. c. 71, § 37H¾

(1) Except as provided in 603 CMR 53.07 and 603 CMR 53.10, a principal may not impose a suspension as a consequence for a disciplinary offense without first providing the student and the parent oral and written notice, and providing the student an opportunity for a hearing on the charge and the parent an opportunity to participate in such hearing.

(2) The principal shall provide oral and written notice to the student and the parent in English and in the primary language of the home if other than English, or other means of communication where appropriate. The notice shall set forth in plain language:

  1. (a) the disciplinary offense;

  2. (b) the basis for the charge;

  3. (c) the potential consequences, including the potential length of the student's suspension;

  4. (d) the opportunity for the student to have a hearing with the principal concerning the proposed suspension, including the opportunity to dispute the charges and to present the student's explanation of the alleged incident, and for the parent to attend the hearing;

  5. (e) the date, time, and location of the hearing;

  6. (f) the right of the student and the student's parent to interpreter services at the hearing if needed to participate;

  7. (g) if the student may be placed on long-term suspension following the hearing with the principal:

    1. the rights set forth in 603 CMR 53.08 (3)(b); and
    2. the right to appeal the principal's decision to the superintendent.

(3) The principal shall make reasonable efforts to notify the parent orally of the opportunity to attend the hearing. To conduct a hearing without the parent present, the principal must be able to document reasonable efforts to include the parent. The principal is presumed to have made reasonable efforts if the principal has sent written notice and has documented at least two attempts to contact the parent in the manner specified by the parent for emergency notification.

(4) Written notice to the parent may be made by hand delivery, first-class mail, certified mail, email to an address provided by the parent for school communications, or any other method of delivery agreed to by the principal and parent.

Regulatory Authority:
M.G.L. c.69, s. 1B & c.71, s. 37H & 37H 3/4

For an official copy of these regulations, please contact the State House Bookstore, at 617-727-2834 or visit Massachusetts State Bookstore.

Last Updated: August 25, 2014

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