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The Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

 
New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school 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 Act was signed into law on September 13, 2010 and took effect on July 1, 2012. Amendments to the act are effective as of July 1, 2013.

The original 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, and 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. The Dignity Act further amended Section 2801 of the Education Law by requiring Boards of Education to include language addressing The Dignity Act in their codes of conduct.

Southern Cayuga CSD DASA Coordinator: Tanya Thompson (315) 364-7111 ext. 2116
Contact Email: thompsont@southerncayuga.org


New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school 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. 
 
DEFINITIONS
Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional and that involves an imbalance of power.  Most often, it is repeated over time.  (From the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program)  There are three kinds – verbal, physical, and social or relational.
 
Harassment means the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse 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 wellbeing; or conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety; such conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse includes but is not limited to conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex (Education Law §11[7]).
 
Sexual Harassment is serious or perceived behavior of a sexual nature which makes someone uncomfortable.  That person may become upset or avoid coming to school because of the behavior aimed at them.  These behaviors include, but are not limited to: 

·       Unwelcome sexual advances asking for sexual favors
·       Jokes, comments, rumors, threats
·       Physical touching, pinching, grabbing
·       Sending texts, emails, posting on social networks comments or pictures that are sexual
 
The CDC definition of bullying (Feb 2014)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and with input from researchers and practitioners, developed a uniform definition of bullying. 
Bulling Definition:  Any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated. Bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm.
A young person can be a perpetrator, a victim, or both (also known as "bully/victim").
Bullying can occur in-person and through technology. Electronic aggression or cyber-bullying is bullying that happens through email, chat rooms, instant message, a website, text message, or social media.

What is Cyberbullying (From stopbullying.gov)
Cyberbullying is 
bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.
Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.

Why Cyberbullying is Different
Kids who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, kids who are cyberbullied have a harder time getting away from the behavior.
  • Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night.
  • Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
  • Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.
Effects of Cyberbullying
Cell phones and computers themselves are not to blame for cyberbullying. Social media sites can be used for positive activities, like connecting kids with friends and family, helping students with school, and for entertainment. But these tools can also be used to hurt other people. Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar.
 
DASA Informational Resource Links

DASA Website (NYSED)
Net Cetera Cybersafety (YouTube Video)
Stand Up to Cyberbullying (YouTube Video)
Stopbullying.gov

Downloads

DASA Protocol Flow Chart
SCCS DASA Incident Report Form

Patrick Jensen, Superintendent
Southern Cayuga School District
2384 State Route 34B
Aurora, NY 13026

Phone: 315.364.7211
Fax: 315.364.7863

www.southerncayuga.org

Emily Howland Elementary
Phone: 315.364.7098
Fax: 315.364.7590

Jr/Sr High School
Phone: 315.364.7111
Fax: 315.364.8207