New York State's Dignity for All Students Act - enacted in July
2012 - seeks to provide safe and supportive school environments
where students can learn, free from discrimination, intimidation,
taunting, harassment and bullying on school property, school buses
and school functions. The goal of the Dignity Act is to ensure
that no student
should be subjected to harassment or discrimination by employees or students based on their actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation. gender or sex.
The Cyberbullying Amendment to the Dignity act establishes
protocols to respond to cyberbullying.
It grants schools authority over communications that occurs off-campus if it creates a hostile environment, a risk of a substantial disruption at school and it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property. Under the bill, a principal, superintendent or the designee is charged with investigating reports of cyberbullying. If the investigation verifies harassment, bullying or discrimination, the school would be required to take prompt actions to end the harassment.
The Dignity Act requires that at least one staff member at
every school be trained to serve as a
Dignity Act Coordinator. If you or your child has an act of bullying to report, please contact the coordinator at your child's school.
As part of the annual requirement to familiarize students with the Code of Conduct, schools now also inform students of behavioral expectations under the Dignity Act.