The Massachusetts Supreme Court sided with an assistant principal on Friday, rejecting a “habitually truant” youth’s claim that the nonattorney school representative engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by filing and pursuing a Child Requiring Assistance (CRA) petition in juvenile court.

In April 2021, Lexington public schools assistant principal—who also oversees attendance but does not have a law degree—filed a CRA petition in the juvenile court, asserting that a 12-year-old child needed assistance because he had “excessive absences” and didn’t attend school for 48 days that school year, the high court’s opinion said. The petition further explained that the child and his family did not participate in a truancy prevention program.