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DASA

DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS ACT

Q: Who is protected by the Dignity Act?

A: All public elementary and secondary school students are protected by the Dignity Act.

Q: What does the Dignity Act prohibit?

A: The Dignity Act prohibits the harassment and discrimination of students by students and by school personnel.

Q: How does the Dignity Act relate to bullying and hazing?

A: Bullying and hazing are forms of harassment and discrimination.

Q: What physical spaces are covered by the Dignity Act?

A: The Dignity Act applies to behavior on school property (including athletic fields, playgrounds, and parking lots), in school buildings, on a school bus/vehicle, as well as at school-sponsored events or activities.

Q: How does the Dignity Act relate to the school’s Code of Conduct?

A: The Code of Conduct must be amended to reflect the prohibition of discrimination and harassment of students by students or staff– in age-appropriate plain language.

For more information, visit these resource websites:

New York State’s Dignity For All Students Act took effect on July 1, 2012. Just as with the District’s Code of Conduct, the law seeks to provide public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, bullying, including cyberbullying on school property, a school bus, and/or at a school function.  The Dignity Act includes but is not limited to, acts of discrimination and harassment based on a student’s race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity and expression), or sex. 

Our Dignity Act Coordinators are based at each building and are trained to address issues regarding bullying prevention

The Board of Education recognizes that learning environments that are safe and supportive can increase student attendance and improve academic achievement. A student’s ability to learn and achieve high academic standards, and a school’s ability to educate students, is compromised by incidents of discrimination, harassment or bullying, including but not limited to cyberbullying, taunting and intimidation.

Therefore, in accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act, Education Law, Article 2, the District will strive to create an environment free of discrimination and harassment and will foster civility in the schools to prevent and prohibit conduct which is inconsistent with the District’s educational mission. The District condemns and prohibits all forms of discrimination, harassment or bullying of students based on 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 and at school-sponsored activities and events that take place at locations off school property. In addition, actions taken outside of school sponsored events, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property, may be subject to discipline.

Rules against discrimination and harassment will be included in the Code of Conduct, publicized District-wide and disseminated to all staff and parents. An age-appropriate summary shall be distributed to all students at a school assembly at the beginning of each school year.

Reports and Investigations of Discrimination and Harassment

Any student or parent can go directly to the Dignity Act Coordinators should there be concerns. Children may also speak to any staff member if they feel that they are the victim of bullying or discrimination on the basis of any bias. 

The Pine Plains Central School District official responsible for the coordination of procedures related to compliance with Title IX, the statute which prohibits gender-based discrimination is Gian Starr, Director of Curriculum and Instruction:

e-mail:  TitleIXCoordinator@ppcsd.org

The District will investigate all complaints of harassment and discrimination, either formal or informal, and take prompt corrective measures, as necessary. Complaints will be investigated in accordance with applicable policies and regulations. If, after an appropriate investigation, the District finds that this policy has been violated, corrective action will be taken in accordance with District policies and regulations, the Code of Conduct, and all appropriate federal or state laws.

The District will annually report material incidents of discrimination and harassment to the State Education Department as part of the Uniform Violent and Disruptive Incident Reporting System (VADIR). Prohibition of Retaliatory Behavior (Commonly Known as “Whistle-Blower” Protection) Any person who has reasonable cause to suspect that a student has been subjected to discrimination or harassment by an employee or student, on school grounds or at a school function, who acts reasonably and in good faith and reports such information to school officials or law enforcement authorities, shall have immunity from any civil liability that may arise from making such report. The Board prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed at complainants, victims, witnesses and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of discrimination or harassment.


The Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) went into effect July 1, 2012. Its intent is to create more nurturing school environments free of discrimination and harassment of students by students and by school personnel.

The Dignity Act defines harassment as “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 well-being; 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…” New York Education Law § 11(7).

Under the Dignity Act, harassment includes conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Weight
  • National origin
  • Ethnic group
  • Religion
  • Religious practice
  • Sex
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability

The list of characteristics above is not exclusive- harassment may include conduct based on other characteristics as well. Also note that harassment may be based on actual or perceived characteristics, for example, a student’s perceived sexual orientation.

Please report DASA complaints to your building administrator by using the form below or emailing one of the DASA Coordinators.

DASA FORM

POLICY 0115

 

DASA Coordinators


GIAN STARR

Dir. of Curriculum & Instruction
Title IX Coordinator
Email: g.starr@ppcsd.org
Phone: (518) 398-7181
Ext. 1490

CHRISTOPHER BOYD
Stissing Principal
Email: c.boyd@ppcsd.org
Phone: (518) 398-7181
Ext. 1300

JULIE ROBERTS
Seymour Smith Principal
Email: j.roberts@ppcsd.org
Phone: (518) 398-300
Ext. 3102

KRISTEN FISCHETTI
Cold Spring Principal
Email: k.fischetti@ppcsd.org
Phone: (845) 868-7451
Ext. 2201

 

MAILING ADDRESS:

Pine Plains CSD
2829 Church Street
Pine Plains, NY  12567