The responsibility for keeping Massachusetts schools safe rests with staff, students, administrators, law enforcement, and other community leaders. Every student has the right to learn in an environment that is free from violence, harassment, and discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic background, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. The AGO encourages students and school staff to learn more so that they can play a role in keeping schools free from discrimination and create a climate in schools that celebrates differences and applauds diversity.

The laws and regulations addressing civil rights and discrimination are a complex balance between ensuring the safety of all individuals and honoring the freedom of expression by members of society. This guide provides information about the laws that protect students from hate-based crimes, as well as resources available for reporting bias-motivated harassment, discrimination or violence.