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Dignity For All Students



Dear Parents / Guardians,

In 2010, New York State passed the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA).  This law went into effect on July 1, 2012 and protects students from harassment, discrimination and bullying by other students or school employees.  It provides that no student shall be subjected to discrimination based on his or her actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, weight (or other physical features), sexual orientation, gender identity, or biological sex.  DASA explicitly states that bullying, taunting, and intimidation on the protected grounds listed above are all forms of harassment; however, it is not limited to those categories.

Harassment under DASA is defined as the creation of a hostile environment by:
• Repeated conduct or 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
• Conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for their physical safety.

In response to this new law, and following the recommendation of the NYS School Boards Association, Hampton Bays Schools has reviewed its policies related to student conduct and social-emotional learning.  In reviewing the policies, it became clear that the District already had strong procedures in place to deal with these issues.  The required updates were made and the Board of Education has approved them. They are now included in the Board Policies as well as the Code of Conduct for students.  

The Assistant Principals in each building have been appointed as the Dignity Act Coordinators and have all been trained.  If you wish to file a complaint, please contact your school building’s Dignity Act Coordinator who will be able to further assist you in the process.  

All employees are aware of the Dignity for All Students Act and will receive training as needed throughout the school year. Instruction will be given to students and awareness will be heightened through assemblies regarding this Act.  The District will also continue to deliver its curriculum to promote civility and citizenship through age-appropriate resources. As is always the case, a partnership between home and school is essential.

Please click on the links below for related information regarding the Dignity for All Students Act.

Sincerely,
Mr. Mark Pagano
Assistant to the Superintendent
Office of Student Services

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