letters | a kindergartner is suspended

Excluding children from school should be last resort

I write in regard to the reversal of the suspension of the Hopkinton kindergartner for bringing in a toy gun (“Suspension of kindergartner lifted,” Metro, March 23). The new school discipline law enacted by the Massachusetts Legislature last year, which will become effective in July 2014, has a provision that no student in kindergarten through grade 3 can be excluded before the school superintendent has first been notified of the possible exclusion. Had this law already been in effect, it is very likely that cooler heads would have prevailed at Hopkinton’s Center School, and an unnecessary school exclusion would have been avoided.

We urge all school and district administrators to adhere to the spirit of the law, even before its implementation date, that excluding children from school should be the last resort.

Thomas Mela

Senior project director

and managing attorney

Massachusetts Advocates

for Children