“The Exact Wrong Thing That the Moment Calls For” – Michael Gregory Discusses Massachusetts Schools Reporting Parents for Neglect When Children Miss Online Classes

Michael Gregory (‘04), Managing Attorney with the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative of Massachusetts and Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, was quoted in The Boston Globe regarding Massachusetts school officials reporting families to DCF for possible neglect related to their children’s attendance records in remote learning (“Your Child’s a No-Show at Virtual School? You May Get a Call from the State’s Foster Care Agency,” Aug. 15). As parents struggled to adapt to unprecedented pandemic challenges, including the sudden upheaval and restructuring of their children’s education and everyday norms, Michael charged schools with adopting “punitive measures” rather than “building bridges and building relationships” with families in need. “There were so many kids with disabilities, language barriers ... who were having trouble engaging in remote learning. You shouldn’t infer anything about a parent, simply because a child’s not showing up on Zoom.”