The Dignity for All Students Act or DASA was passed by the New York State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Paterson in 2010 and became effective July 1, 2012. Under this law, schools are required to provide a school environment free from discrimination and harassment which is defined as 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 cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety.
In addition to amending codes of conduct, all schools must inform students about anti-harassment policies in plain, age-appropriate language, train all faculty and staff, and provide instruction in civility, citizenship and character education. At least one employee is designated as the DASA Coordinator (DAC) who is available to students and staff to handle issues of bullying and harassment. The law specifically forbids discrimination and harassment based on: race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, religious practices, mental and physical abilities, and weight.
What parents can do at school
Here are some steps parents can take to assist with creating a school environment free from harassment:
What parents can do at home
In addition to being informed advocates for their children at school, parents can create a home environment that supports their child’s dignity. Here are some tips to get started:
For additional resources on this topic, please click on the PDF’s attached below:
Last updated August 8, 2015