The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Doe v. Rizzi, Town of Stoughton NORFOLK, SUPERIOR COURT. NO. 13- 780.

Date: 
06/06/2013
Author: 
Kelley-Brown, Angel

A 15 year old student from Stoughton, MA who had an IEP was suspended indefinitely from school under 37H 1/2 after the Stoughton police notified the school that the student was charged with multiple felonies.  A co-defendant told the police that the student was present in a car at the scene of an attempted robbery.  Shortly after the incident at a bail hearing, the student was released on personal recognizance.  The student was suspended pending the outcome of the felony charges, and the school provided about three hours a week of tutoring.  The student's mother sought injunctive relief so that the student could return to school and could receive the services in his IEP.

The judge noted that 37H 1/2 is discretionary and intended to apply to serious violent felonies which did not describe the student's alleged actions.  She noted that the student did not pose a substantial risk of harm to the school, and that the harm to student Doe of not attending school "outweighs any harm that might be visited upon the defendants if they are enjoined from their unlawful actions."  Further she stated that the student's education and well-being would be irreparably harmed if he did not return to school and that his return served the public interest.  The court granted the preliminary injunction, and student was able to return to school for the remainder of the school year.


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