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Student Government Day

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In 1947, the Massachusetts Legislature enacted a program called Student Government Day (originally Good Government Day) which is traditionally held on a Friday in April. This is an informative program about state government, that includes students participating in the role of elected or appointed officials to "observe the processes of government."

The program provides educators and students from Massachusetts's public and private high schools with many opportunities to learn first hand about state government. It enables government officials to have contact with students. It allows students to voice their positions on important current issues through prepared debates. It enables students to participate in the legislative process through simulated committee hearings and House and Senate formal sessions. It provides the opportunity for students to exchange views with their peers throughout the state on statewide issues.

How does this program work?

  1. The process is similar to that followed by a locally elected officials. Elections are held in high schools throughout the Commonwealth traditionally on election day, the first Tuesday in November, to elect the student delegates and alternates who will participate in the program. Students may take out nomination papers, run campaigns, participate in debates and other such activities when running for "office."

  2. Students will be assigned the roles of senators, representatives, constitutional officers and Justices of the Supreme Court.

  3. In March, information will be posted on this website indicating the roles that each school's student(s) will play on Student Government Day. The website will also provide information about the bills that will be debated, further details about the day itself, and background information about the state government system.

  4. On Student Government Day, students are able to experience the roles of members of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government. Many students will participate as legislators in House and Senate sessions. All students may take part in a simulated committee hearing. Others will visit various elected and appointed office holders and staff as they carry out their daily activities.

Additional Information

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S.389, An Act ensuring municipal participation of the widest eligible range
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H.440, An Act to protect student privacy
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Annual Student Government Day, April 3, 2020
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Student Government Day Handbook 2020
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SGD Faculty Advisor Guide
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Find My Legislator
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Consent Form for Student Government Day Activities
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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Student Government Day
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Massachusetts General Laws: Chapter 6, Section 12M: Student Government Day

SGD 2020 — Supplemental Materials

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Optional Student Assignment — 2020
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Student Governor Speech
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Sample Student Testimonies
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Student Rep. to BESE Letter to Participants

Last Updated: July 29, 2020

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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