By Bob Katzen

This bill allows for school absences to be permitted for behavioral health concerns the same way they are for physical illnesses.

Sen. John Velis (D-Westfield), the bill’s sponsor, said there is currently no state law in Massachusetts mandating that schools allow such absences. He noted that many schools do this on a local basis but notes his bill would require that all schools adopt it.

“School can be an incredibly stressful time period for students and this pandemic has only exacerbated mental health concerns,” said Velis. “It is so important that students are taking care of their mental health, and they should be able to take the time to do that without any consequences.”

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