State and federal laws protect the rights of Massachusetts residents to attend schools without being the victim of violence, threats, intimidation or harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. The AGO works with Massachusetts schools to foster an educational climate safe from discrimination, harassment, bullying, and hate crimes.

 

Laws

Massachusetts School Attendance Law (M.G.L. c. 76, s. 5) provides that "no person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town, or in obtaining the advantages, privileges and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, gender identity or sexual orientation."

 

If You Are a Victim

If you have a complaint about discrimination in public education, you may consider contacting the Massachusetts Department of Early and Secondary Education, the U.S. Department of Education, or you may contact the Civil Rights Division at (617) 727-2200 to file a civil rights complaint.

 

Safe Schools Initiative

The Safe Schools Initiative (SSI) is based upon the principle that children learn best and teachers teach best when schools are safe. SSI provides policies to help Massachusetts schools build a positive climate, free from harassment, bullying and hate crimes.