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Dignity for Students Act (DASA)

Dignity for Students Act (DASA)

New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) 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, a school bus and/or at a school function. The Dignity Act was signed into law on September 13, 2010 and took effect on July 1, 2012.

No student shall be subjected to harassment by employees or students on school property or at any school function; nor shall any student be subject to discrimination based on a person's actual or perceived:​

  • Race
  • Color
  • Weight
  • National Origin

  • Ethnic Group

  • Religion
                               
  • Religious Practice

  • Disability

  • Sexual Orientation

  • Gender Sex

Harassment is defined as the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits or mental, emotional or physical well-being. It is further defined as conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety.

Discrimination would include the denial of equal treatment, admission and/or access to programs facilities and service based on the 11 protected areas noted above.

Bullying is the unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, intentional and takes place over time. 

Cyber Bullying is defined as harassment or bullying that occurs through any form of electronic communication.

Schools are required to:

Develop policies intended to create a school environment that is free from discrimination or harassment.

Develop guidelines for school training programs to discourage discrimination or harassment that are designed to:

Raise awareness and sensitivity of school employees to potential discrimination or harassment and;

Enable employees to prevent and respond to discrimination or harassment.

Develop guidelines relating to the development of non-discriminatory instructional and counseling methods and require that at least one staff member be trained to handle human relations issues.

School districts in New York State may take action when students engage in off campus behavior that would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school.

Schools are required to:

Develop policies intended to create a school environment that is free from discrimination or harassment.

Develop guidelines for school training programs to discourage discrimination or harassment that are designed to:

Raise awareness and sensitivity of school employees to potential discrimination or harassment and;

Enable employees to prevent and respond to discrimination or harassment.

Develop guidelines relating to the development of non-discriminatory instructional and counseling methods and require that at least one staff member be trained to handle human relations issues.

School districts in New York State may take action when students engage in off campus behavior that would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school.

What to do if you see or feel you or anyone else is being bullied, harassed or discriminated against. 

Don’t be a Bystander- Be an Ally - If you see something, say something. Say something to support the victim or notify an adult who can assist.

Make a formal complaint to your Dignity Act Coordinator Teacher. Guidance Counselor or School Administrator. They will either take your verbal complaint or assist you in filing a Dignity Act Complaint Form.

Dignity Act Coordinators

One employee in every school building has been designated as a Dignity Act Coordinator and trained in methods to respond to human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.


More Information

You can visit the New York State Education Department website or contact your child's principal for more information.


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