Dignity For All Students Act (DASA)


In July of 2012, NYS leaders implemented the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) which reads:  
 
It is hereby declared to be a policy of the State to afford all students in public schools an environment free of discrimination and harassment. The purpose of this article is to foster civility in public schools and to prevent and prohibit conduct which is inconsistent with the school’s educational mission. 
 
No student shall be subjected to harassment by school employees or students on school property or at a school function; nor shall any student be subjected to discrimination based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.
 
The Ithaca City School District is committed to creating a safe and caring learning environment where all students can succeed.

 

ICSD DASA Actions

Revised and adopted Policies intended to create a school environment free from harassment and discrimination; Created plain language versions for both elementary and secondary Codes of Conduct; Coordinated with TST BOCES Youth Development to train all staff to raise awareness and sensitivity to these issues and provided tools for appropriate responses to harmful incidents; Developed a system for reporting incidents of discrimination and harassment; Designated a Dignity Act Coordinator who is responsible for receiving and investigating reports of discrimination and harassment in each school; Designated an administrator to coordinate all district-wide DASA efforts and initiatives; Created a DASA website; Established a communication committee which will work to educate the entire ICSD community.

 

ICSD DASA Protocol

1.  Student, staff member or parent/caregiver experiences, witnesses or hears about bullying harassment, discrimination or hazing.

2.  Witness or target finds a staff person if immediate help is needed AND if a safety issue, alleged aggressor(s) are separated and intervention occurs to ensure safety.

3.  Bullying Reporting Form is completed by student, staff or parent/caregiver and given to appropriate Dignity Act Coordinator (see below).

4.  Investigation occurs. Target is interviewed separately from aggressor and necessary supports are put into place to ensure safety.  Witnesses and aggressor(s) are interviewed.

5.  Parent/caregiver is notified. Notification may occur earlier dependent upon severity and situation.  If investigation deems that the event occurred, then every attempt is made to permanently stop the bullying, harassment, discrimination or hazing by means of consequences, education, restorative practices and/or remediation.  By law, the consequences to the aggressor cannot be shared with the target without expressed written consent of aggressor and parent/caregiver. 

CONTACT:

Building Coordinator Contact
LACS D. Carruthers 607.274.2183
Belle Sherman D. Brieman 607.274.2206
Beverly J Martin S. Eschbach 607.274.2209
Boynton J. Tomasik 607.274.2241
Caroline M. Grover 607.539.7155
Cayuga Heights B. Pollack 607.257.8557
DeWitt M. Knight 607.257.3222
Enfield L. Rieger 607.274.2221
Fall Creek M. Simons 607.274.2214
Ithaca High M. Hardesty
K. Harrington
C. Sessoms
607.274.2143
Northeast L. Talcott 607.257.2121
South Hill S. Little 607.274.2129
Transportation E. Berner 607.274.2128
Administration A. Verba 607.274.2121
TST BOCES J. Astles 607.257.1551
 
Question and Answer
 
Q: Who’s protected under the Dignity Act?
A. The Act applies to the protection of all public elementary and secondary school students and prohibits the harassment and discrimination of students by students and by school personnel. 
 
Q: How does the DASA relate to bullying & hazing?
A: Bullying and hazing are forms of harassment and discrimination.
 
Q: Do anti-bullying programs exist at ICSD?
A: Yes, ICSD has many excellent programs in place that address the prevention of harassment, discrimination and bullying.  The requirements of DASA would support and enhance the existence of these programs. 
 
Q: What should I do if a student is being bullied, is bullying others or has witnessed bullying?
A: Contact the DASA Coordinator in your building or complete a bully reporting form which can be downloaded from the district website.
 
Q: Does DASA require any training?
A: Yes. The DASA mandates that schools provide training for all employees to increase awareness and sensitivity to discrimination or  harassment and civility in the relations of all people.
 
 

Visit the Social Workers pages for more information about anti-bullying resources.

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