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Dignity For All Students Act (DASA)

In July 2012, New York State 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 safe and caring learning environments, where ALL students can succeed.
 

DASA in the Ithaca City School District



Dignity Act Coordinators
 
Building
Coordinator
Phone
Belle Sherman Daniel Breiman 607.274.2206
Beverly J. Martin Susan Eschbach 607.274.2209
Caroline Kristin Herman 607.539.7155
Cayuga Heights Brad Pollack 607.257.8557
Enfield Keith Harrington 607.274.2221
Fall Creek Caitlin Bram 607.274.2214
Northeast Liddy Coyle 607.257.2121
South Hill Perry Gorgen 607.274.2129
Boynton MS Jeff Tomasik
Lauren Wright
607.274.2241
DeWitt MS Mac Knight
Donna Lucy-Lender
607.257.3222
Ithaca High Jason Trumble
Carlan Gray
Marthay Hardesty
Corey Mitchell
607.274.2143
LACS Deb Ptak 607.274.2183
 
Department
Coordinator
Phone
Athletics Samantha Little 607.274.2155
District Admin Amanda Verba 607.274.2121
Pre-K Laura Evans 607.274.2208
Transportation Liz Berner 607.274.2128
TST BOCES Jennifer Astles 607.257.1551

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 there is a safety issue. Alleged antagonist(s) is/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.
  4. Investigation occurs. Target is interviewed separately from antagonist(s) and necessary supports are put in place to ensure safety. Witness and antagonist(s) are interviewed.
  5. Parent(s)/caregiver(s) is/are notified (notification may occur earlier depending on the situation). If the investigation deems that the event occurred, every attempt is made to permanently stop the bullying, harassment, discrimination, and/or hazing by means of consequences, education, restorative practices, and/or remediation. By law, the consequences to the antagonist(s) cannot be shared with the target without expressed written consent of antagonist(s) and their parent(s)/caregiver(s).
Actions Taken by the ICSD in Response to DASA
  • Revised and adopted policies to create school environments free from harassment and discrimination.
  • Created plain language versions of both the elementary and secondary Codes of Conduct.
  • Coordinated with TST BOCES Youth Development to train all staff to raise awareness of and sensitivity to these issues, and to provide tools for appropriate responses to harmful incidents.
  • Developed a system for reporting incidents of discrimination and harassment.
  • Designated Dignity Act Coordinators, who are responsible for receiving and investigating reports of discrimination and harassment in their buildings.
  • Designated an administrator to coordinate all district-wide DASA efforts and initiatives.
  • Created a DASA webpage.
  • Established a communication committee, which works to educate the ICSD community about DASA. 
 

Frequently Asked Questions


Q

Who is protected under the Diginity for All Students Act?

A

DASA 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 DASA relate to bullying and hazing?

A

Bullying and hazing are forms of harassment and discrimination.
   

Q

What physical spaces are covered by DASA?

A

DASA applies to behavior on school property, including athletic fields, playgrounds, and parking lots; in school buildings; on school buses/vehicles; and at school-sponsored events or activities.
   

Q

Do anti-bullying programs exist in the ICSD?

A

Yes. The ICSD has many excellent programs in place that address the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and bullying. The requirements of DASA support and enhance these programs. DASA provides structures for comprehensive and consistent training and intervention to build a caring school climate in every building.
   

Q

What should I do if a student is being bullied, is bullying others, or has witnessed bullying?

A

Contact the Dignity Act Coordinator in the building and/or complete a Bullying Reporting Form.
   

Q

Does DASA require any training?

A

Yes. DASA mandates that schools provide training for all employees to increase awareness of and sensitivity to discrimination or harassment and civility in the relations of all people.