Boston Student Rights

The Boston Student Advisory Council

BSAC (Boston Student Advisory Council) is a group of elected student leaders representing most Boston Public High Schools. They work on the issues that matter most to students!
BSAC is a citywide body of elected student leaders representing most BPS high schools co-administered by Youth on Board and the Office of Engagement. BSAC organizers work to identify and address pertinent student issues, thereby putting students at the center of the decisions that affect them the most. BSAC acts as the student union of the district, leading organizing efforts, forging relationships with district and city-leaders, impacting policy change, and transforming school culture across the board. BSAC members helped write the district’s Code of Conduct that outlines students rights around suspension and expulsion.

They work on several campaigns throughout the year including:

BSAC has advocated for and helped to pass over 25 district and state policies. This is a list of some of the rights around certain policies as a BPS student. The Code of Conduct provides a complete list of your rights as a BPS student.

As a student in Boston Public Schools, you have rights that entitle you to a free public education and you have academic benefits as a partner of in your own education.

If any of these things has happened, you can report the incident to BPS.

Getting in trouble at school can be scary and embarrassing, and that anyone may have questions about the process. If a punishment was unfair or that your due process rights were violated, the report goes directly to Boston Public Schools.

MORE Than An App…

Boston Student Rights is an app designed by and for BPS students to help them understand their rights, suspension and expulsion policies, and stay connected to other students in the district. Families, teachers, and administrators will also find this information useful.

Boston Public School students designed the app with one purpose in mind: to get everyone on the same page about student rights and school discipline. The app breaks down district policies and the Code of Conduct so that everyone understands the rules. Everyone can use this app to start a conversation, or to file a report if you or someone you know has been unfairly disciplined or discriminated against.

It was designed for BPS students (their teachers and parents) to understand their rights, suspension/expulsion policies, and stay connected to us. This is the first student rights app in the country and we are proud to work in partnership with BPS on this project.

Hate Crimes

Do you think you may have been a victim of a hate crime or that you experienced bias-based conduct at your school?

A hate crime is a traditional crime that is motivated by the offender’s bias toward the victim because the victim is a member of a protected group.
Bias-based behavior is when someone treats a student differently because of their membership in a protected group.
Under the BPS Non-Discrimination policy (inline link to circular), protected groups include race, color, age, disability, sex/gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, retaliation, sexual orientation, genetics, military status, and homelessness.

Only law enforcement can determine that something is a hate crime. If you believe a hate crime may have been committed, you should contact the police. If you think there has been any sort of bias-based conduct at your school or on your way to or from school, you can file a report with the BPS Office of Equity.
Any form of communication or physical action that creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment will not be tolerated.

What are some examples of bias-based behavior?

If you report bias-based conduct to your school or the Office of Equity…

Are there other ways to report an incident?

Call transit police at. Or Contact the Attorney General’s Hotline by phone at , social media, or email using a file a Civil Rights Complaint.

Do you go to a public or charter school in Massachusetts that is not part of the Boston Public Schools district?

Students at charter schools in Boston or any public school in MA still have rights around discipline, even if they are not as progressive and student friendly as Boston. Students have more rights than they did in the past. Our friends at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice compiled state laws into a resource for students and families across the state. BSAC members worked with the Lawyers’ Committee to make sure that it is easy to understand and helpful for students and families.