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.
Under DASA, no student shall be subjected to harassment by employees or students on school property or at any school function; nor shall any student be subject to discrimination based on a person's actual or perceived:
- National Origin
- Ethnic Group
- Religious Practice
- Sexual Orientation
What to do if you see or feel you or anyone else is being bullied, harassed or discriminated against.
Don’t be a Bystander- Be an Ally - If you see something, say something. Say something to support the victim and notify an adult who can assist.
Make a formal complaint to your Dignity Act Coordinator, Guidance Counselor or School Administrator. They will either take your verbal complaint or assist you in filing a complaint.
Dignity Act Coordinators
One or more employees in every school building has been designated as a Dignity Act Coordinator and trained in methods to respond to human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.
You can visit the New York State Education Department website or contact your student's principal for more information.