Action Alert

The House is currently working on police reform! We need your help to secure the safety of the young people in our schools!  
Earlier this week after an all-night session the Senate passed S.2820, the Reform, Shift + Build Act. Now the House is evaluating its own police accountability bill. 
Massachusetts Appleseed has been working with the Coalition for Smart Responses to Student Behavior to advocate for the removal of mandatory School Resource Officers (SROs), and for greater public accountability when police come into contact with students. You can find the letter we have signed onto with this coalition here.  
Our first priority:  
  • Remove School Resource Officers from Massachusetts Schools. There is a simple legislative change your Representative can enact that would achieve this goal and keep schools safe. The definition of a “school resource officer” (SRO) in G.L. c. 71 § 37P(a) can be amended to include: A school resource officer shall not be located on school grounds but at the local police station and shall be charged with serving as the primary responder to calls from public schools. 
Legislative priorities from S.2820 we want included by the House:  
  • Senator Boncore’s Amendment 25 “Training and Certification for School Resource Officers” requires specific training for SROs on a host of important topics, to be developed in consultation with experts, and to be required before an officer can be assigned as an SRO. 
  • Senator Jehlen’s Amendment 80 “School Committee Approval of SROs and Data Reporting” puts school committees – not superintendents and police chiefs – in charge of annually approving school policing by vote, and requires that the district and police department comply with the reporting requirements of school-based arrests to qualify to have an SRO. 
  • Senator Jehlen’s Amendment 108 “Protecting Students from Profiling” strengthens existing provisions of S.2820 on information sharing by prohibiting Massachusetts school staff and school police from sharing student information to the Boston Regional Intelligence Center and other gang databases. 
  • Section 59-61 of S.2820 (initially filed by Representatives Decker and Khan in H.1386) “Expanding Expungement Eligibility” allows multiple cases on a juvenile’s record to be considered for expungement – rather than only one, which is current Massachusetts law – and reduces the list of offenses never eligible for expungement. 

Read S.2820

Read Our Testimony

What You Can Do

  • Email your Representative TODAY and ask them to support the priorities within amendments 25, 80, and 108, and section 59-61 of S.2820. Be sure to attach the Coalition for Smart Responses to Student Behavior’s testimony and Massachusetts Appleseed’s testimony to your email! 
  • Because elected officials get a lot of emails, follow-up with a phone call to ask whether the Representative will support these priorities.
  • Click here to find your Representative’s emails and phone numbers. 

Thank you for working with us to improve this important legislation and dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline!


Our Response to COVID-19

From developing and sharing accessible legal resources in areas of urgent need to advocating for equitable policies to support those hit hardest by COVID-19 – there’s work to be done. Learn more about steps we’re taking to aid our most vulnerable communities during the pandemic and how you can help.

Our Response to COVID-19


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