Below are a list of useful resources:


Where to find school discipline data for your school and district:

  • The School Safety and Discipline Report (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education): The School Safety and Discipline Report tracks each time a drug, violent or criminal-related offense as well as any non-drug, non-violent or non-criminal-related offense occurs on school property. All public schools in Massachusetts are required to file a single Offense Report and Student Discipline Record for each student offender reported on the Offense Report. Find your school and district in the Report here:


  • Civil Rights Data Collection (U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR)): The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) is a biennial (i.e., every other school year) survey required by OCR. Since 1968, the CRDC has collected data on key education and civil rights issues in our nation’s public schools for use by OCR in its enforcement and monitoring efforts regarding equal educational opportunity. It includes school and district data on in-school and out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, school-based arrests, and referrals to law enforcement.


State Law and Federal Guidance on School Discipline:

  • Student Discipline Resources and Information: The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Student Discipline Resources and Information page contains links to both the state’s new law (Chapter 222) and regulations as well as materials DESE has published explaining both:


  • Massachusetts Advocates for Children maintains a great resource page on Chapter 222:


  • School Discipline Guidance Package: The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released guidance on administering school discipline in a non-discriminatory manner. The guidance and a host of materials on best practices in school discipline are available here:



  • Council of State Governments’ School Discipline Consensus Report: The Council of State Governments (CSG), a national nonprofit organization that serves policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels from all branches of government, released its School Discipline Consensus Reportin Spring, 2014.  The report presents a comprehensive set of consensus-based and field-driven recommendations to improve conditions for learning for all students and educators, better support students with behavioral needs, improve police-schools partnerships, and keep students out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses.


Best Practices in School Discipline and School Climate

  • New England Equity Assistance Center (NEEAC): The New England Equity Assistance Center (NEEAC), a program of the Education Alliance at Brown University, helps states, districts, and public schools plan and implement policies and practices that promote access to high-quality education for all students. The NEEAC is one of ten regional equity assistance centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide training and technical assistance on educational issues related to race, gender, and national origin. At the request of state or district officials, we partner with schools to find solutions to a variety of equity problems. Our work aims to close persistent achievement gaps, to promote safe schools, and to help all students reach high standards.


  • Suffolk University Center for Restorative Justice: The Center for Restorative Justice provides training specific to using restorative justice in schools. Per the Center’s website, “Restorative practices are successfully used for classroom management; collaborative pedagogy; student support; emotional awareness and literacy; building a positive school climate; alternate discipline; and strengthening positive connections with parents and community. Training workshops are designed for teachers, guidance counselors, administrators, students and school support personnel to learn about restorative justice as well as how to implement restorative practices in the classroom and greater school culture.”


  • The May Institute: The May Institute helps schools and districts implement strategies to encourage positive behavior and reduce disruptive behavior and improved academic engagement. It is currently supporting over 70 schools in over 20 Massachusetts districts in their implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.


  • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Office of Tiered System of Supports: The Office of Tiered System of Supports develops policies, practices and procedures around the Massachusetts Tiered System of Support and provides technical assistance, develops tools and guidance documents, administers grants, and establishes and maintains communication with key stakeholders representing general and special education populations. The Office conducts the MTSS: PBIS Academy, which is currently training 29 teams from 12 districts in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.  The MTSS: PBIS Academy is a multi-year, face-to-face professional development program that provides training for coaches, on-site job-embedded training, and technical assistance.

If schools or districts are interested in learning more about the Department’s MTSS: PBIS Academy, please contact Shawn Connelly at 781.338.3535 or via email at


Enforcing Your Rights:

  • U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR): Serves student populations facing discrimination and the advocates and institutions promoting systemic solutions to civil rights problems. An important responsibility is resolving complaints of discrimination. Agency-initiated cases, typically called compliance reviews, permit OCR to target resources on compliance problems that appear particularly acute. OCR also provides technical assistance to help institutions achieve voluntary compliance with the civil rights laws that OCR enforces. An important part of OCR’s technical assistance is partnerships designed to develop creative approaches to preventing and addressing discrimination.

Boston Office
Office for Civil Rights
US Department of Education
8th Floor
5 Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109-3921

Telephone: 617-289-0111
FAX: 617-289-0150; TDD: 800-877-8339

National Coalitions:

  • Dignity in Schools Campaign: The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) challenges the systemic problem of pushout in our nation’s schools and advocates for the human right of every child to a quality education and to be treated with dignity. The DSC unites parents, youth, educators and advocates in a campaign to promote local and national alternatives to a culture of zero-tolerance, punishment and removal. The DSC website contains a host of useful resources, including a model code on discipline.


  •  Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ): The Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ) is a national collective of approximately 30 intergenerational and youth organizing groups across the nation that work with local and federal policymakers to transform public education to a system that equally prepares all students – regardless of race or socioeconomic status – for college, meaningful employment, and full participation in democracy.