113 Kids and the Law The laws regarding school attendance are found in Massachusetts General Laws chapter 76, Sections 1, 2, and 18. SCHOOL DISCIPLINARY POLICIES No form of corporal punishment (physical punishment, such as a spanking) is permitted in Massachusetts schools. Massachusetts law requires that each school district publish a student hand- book concerning the required conduct of its students. These handbooks should be distributed to each student in grades nine and above. All student handbooks are required to include information regarding procedures and practices concerning exclusion, suspension and expulsion from school. Kids can be excluded from attending school for different periods of time. “Ex- clusion” refers to the general idea of removal from the normal activities of a school, and is used broadly to describe both suspension and expulsion. “Sus- pension” can be short term (10 days or less) or long term (10 days or more). Suspensions can be “in-house” (when the student is excluded from attending regular classes, but may go to a study hall or resource room during school hours) or “out-of-school” (when the student is prohibited from being on school property). With certain exceptions, a student cannot be suspended for more than 90 days in a school year. “Expulsion” generally means the removal of a student from the school premises, regular classroom activities, and school activities for more than 90 school days or permanently. The procedure the school system must follow and the rights of the student are determined by the length and type of exclusion. The laws regarding school disciplinary policies are found in Massachusetts Gen- eral Laws, chapter 71, Sections 32 G, 37H, 37H ½, and 37H ¾. Legal Issues Related to School 10