Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) took effect on July 1, 2012, and was amended on July 1, 2013. Just as with the district’s Code of Conduct, the new law seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, school buses, and/or at school functions.
The Dignity Act includes, but is not limited to, acts of discrimination and harassment based on a student’s race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (defined to include gender identity or expression), or sex.
Prevention is the cornerstone of the District’s effort to address bullying and harassment. In order to implement this anti-bullying prevention program, principals at each school act as Dignity for All Students Act Coordinators who are trained to address issues in areas protected by the law and is accessible to the school community.
Message to Students
You should feel safe at school. People should treat other people the way they would like to be treated. You have a right to feel safe at school. You should be able to learn, do your work, and have fun without worrying about the words or actions of others making you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. We are all different, but no one should be treated differently because of things like how they look or what their family does. It is against school rules to make anyone else feel threatened or unsafe.
A new law known as the Dignity for All Students Act focuses on making sure that you and your classmates are safe and feel safe at school. The new law says that it is wrong for students to be teased or treated differently because of their race, color, weight, national origin or ethnic group, religion, religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex. Every school principal is in charge of working with everyone at school to create a safe and supportive environment. If anyone is saying or doing things that are making you or others feel unsafe or uncomfortable, you should tell your principal or another adult at school.
Definition: Harassment and Bullying
Harassment and bullying can include verbal and non-verbal conduct. They are defined as the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by threats, intimidation or abuse, including cyberbullying, that have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional and/or physical well-being. This can apply to acts of harassment or bullying that occur: on school property; and/or at a school function; or off school property where such acts create or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property.
If you have trouble accessing this document, please contact your DASA coordinator.
Rachel Harrison – School Counselor – firstname.lastname@example.org