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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.

Dignity Act Coordinators

Belle Sherman Elementary
Jeff Tomasik 274-2206
Beverly J. Martin Elementary
Susan Eschbach 274-2209
Caroline Elementary
Kristin Herman 539-7155
Cayuga Heights Elementary
Lisa Sahasrabudhe 257-8557
Enfield Elementary
Keith Harrington 274-2221
Fall Creek Elementary
Caitlin Bram 274-2214
Northeast Elementary
Liddy Coyle 257-2121
South Hill Elementary
Perry Gorgen 274-2129
Boynton Middle School
Lauren Wright 274-2241
Daniel McGrath (AP)
DeWitt Middle School
Carlan Gray 257-3222
Donna Lucy-Lender (AP)
LACS
Deb Ptak 274-2183
Ithaca High School
Jason Trumble 274-2143
Martha Hardesty (AP)
Corey Mitchell (AP)
Jacqueline Richardson (AP)
Athletics
Samantha Little 274-2155
District Administrator
Amanda Verba 274-2121
Pre-K
Laura Evans 274-2208
Transportation
Liz Berner 274-2128
TST BOCES
Jennifer Astles 257-1551
 

ICSD DASA Protocol

Step 1: Student, staff member, or parent/caregiver experiences, witnesses, or hears about bullying harassment, discrimination, or hazing.
Step 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.
Step 3Bullying Reporting Form is completed by student, staff, or parent/caregiver and given to appropriate Dignity Act Coordinator.
Step 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.
Step 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.