DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS ACT
New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide all 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 for All Students Act (The Dignity Act also known as DASA) was signed into law on September 13, 2010 and took effect on July 1, 2012. The legislation amended State Education Law by creating a new Article 2 - Dignity for All Students. The Dignity Act also amended, Section 801-a of New York State Education Law regarding instruction in civility, citizenship, character education by expanding the concepts of tolerance, respect for others, and dignity to include: an awareness and sensitivity in the relations of people, including but not limited to, different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, gender identity, and sexes.
Highlights of the new law, effective July 1, 2012:
All public elementary and secondary school students are protected.
DASA prohibits the harassment and discrimination of students by students and by school personnel.
Each school’s Code of Conduct must be amended to reflect the prohibition of discrimination and harassment of students by students or staff in age-appropriate language.
Districts must appoint at least one staff member in each school to handle all bullying incidents on school property (including athletic fields, playgrounds, and parking lots), in school buildings, on a school bus/vehicle, as well as at school-sponsored events or activities).
Administrators must report incidents of bullying or bias-based harassment to the NYS Department of Education