THE NYS DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS ACT (DASA)
DASA is a state law called the Dignity for All Students Act. The intent of DASA is to “afford all students in public schools an environment free of discrimination and harassment. The purpose of this … is to foster civility in public schools and to prevent and prohibit conduct which is inconsistent with a school’s educational mission.” (Ed Law Article 2 Section 10)
The Dignity Act provides a response to the large number of harassed and stigmatized students skipping school and engaging in high risk behaviors by prohibiting discrimination in public schools and establishing the basis for protective measures such as training and model policies. The Dignity Act is intended to create nurturing, discrimination-free, and harassment-free environments in all schools.
The Manhasset Union Free School District meets all of the DASA requirements. Each building has a trained Dignity Act Coordinator. The Dignity Act Coordinator works in conjunction with administrators, staff, and teachers, to receive, investigate, and address all DASA related reports and violations in a prompt and thorough manner. Additionally, the Board of Education has adopted a student Code of Conduct Policy that includes specific language incorporating and addressing the Dignity for All Students Act.
Manhasset Union Free School District continues to implement and refine school and district strategies to prevent harassment, bullying, and discrimination while promoting and cultivating a climate of acceptance, compassion, and respect.
Who is protected under DASA legislation?
The law states that “No student shall be subjected to harassment or bullying by 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 by school employees or students on school property or at a school function.” (Ed Law Article 2 Section 12)
How does DASA define harassment, bullying, and cyberbullying?
"’Harassment’ and ‘Bullying’ shall mean the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by threats, intimidation or abuse, including cyberbullying, that:
- Has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being; or
- Reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety; or
- Reasonably caused or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or emotional harm to a student; or
- Occurs off school property and creates or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property.
Acts of harassment and bullying shall include, but not be limited to, those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex. For the purposes of this definition the term ‘threats, intimidation or abuse’ shall include verbal and non-verbal actions.”
Bullying typically involves an imbalance of power, repetition and the intent to cause harm.
Imbalance of Power: an imbalance of power involves the use of physical strength, popularity, or access to embarrassing information to hurt or control another person.
Repetition: occurring more than once or having the potential to occur more than once.
Intent to Harm: The person bullying has the goal to cause harm. Bullying is not accidental.
Cyberbullying shall mean harassment or bullying as defined [above] where such harassment or bullying occurs through any form of electronic communication. (Ed Law Article 2 Section 11)
Manhasset’s Dignity Act Coordinators (Assistant Principals):
Shelter Rock School Mrs. Paulette Williams 267-7457
Munsey Park School Mr. Brian Nolan 267-7441
Manhasset Secondary School Mr. Peter Vercessi 267-7501
Additional DASA trained faculty members:
Dr. Dean Schlanger, Principal, Manhasset Secondary School;
Mr. Chad Altman, Principal, Munsey Park School;
Mr. Richard Roder, Principal, Shelter Rock School;
Ms. Jane Grappone, Director of Guidance; and
all school Guidance Counselors and school Social Workers.
All faculty and staff receive DASA training at the start of each school year. This training includes raising awareness and sensitivity to potential harassment, bullying, and discrimination and enables employees to prevent and respond to harassment, bullying, and discrimination.
Where can I find more information about the Dignity Act?
New York State Center for School Safety: http://www.nyscfss.org/
NYS education Department: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/dignityact/
Student Harassment, Harassment, and Bullying Complaint Form: https://www.manhassetschools.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=2&PageModuleInstanceID=4390&ViewID=838b13a1-2ccb-4c74-83cb-0b9f098d6937&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=3257&SearchKeywords=
Dignity for All Students: https://www.manhassetschools.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=2&PageModuleInstanceID=4390&ViewID=838b13a1-2ccb-4c74-83cb-0b9f098d6937&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=3151&SearchKeywords=
Student Harassment and Bullying Prevention and Intervention Regulation: https://www.manhassetschools.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=2&PageModuleInstanceID=4390&ViewID=838b13a1-2ccb-4c74-83cb-0b9f098d6937&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=3255&SearchKeywords=