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Dignity for All Students Act (Dignity Act): Protecting Students and Yourself

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Title: Dignity for All Students Act Amendment Overview Author: Sahr Created Date: 8/20/2012 2:53:32 PM Document presentation format: On-screen Show – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Dignity for All Students Act (Dignity Act): Protecting Students and Yourself


1
Dignity for All Students Act(Dignity Act)
Protecting Students and Yourself
2
I always wondered why someone didnt do something
about that, then I realized Im that someone.
http//bornthiswayfoundation.org/
3
Dignity for All Students ActPrimary
Requirements Overview
www.p12.nysed.gov/dignityact
4
Dignity for All Students Act
  • Signed into law by Governor Paterson 9-13-2010
  • Chapter 482 Laws of 2010
  • New Article 2 Education Law
  • Effective date 7-1-2012
  • Dignity Act Task Force
  • Dignity Act Work Groups
  • Commissioners Regulations effective 7-1-2012

5
Dignity Act-Related Regulatory Amendments
  • 100.2(c) Instruction in Civility, Citizenship,
    and
  • Character Education
  • 100.2(l) Code of Conduct
  • 119.6
  • 100.2(jj) Dignity Act Coordinator Training
  • 100.2(kk) Dignity Act Reporting
  • 80 52.21(s) Teacher Certification

6
  • No student shall be subjected to harassment by
    employees or students on school property or at a
    school function nor shall any student be
    subjected to discrimination based on their actual
    or perceived
  • race
  • color
  • weight
  • national origin
  • ethnic group
  • religion
  • religious practice
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • gender (including gender identity or expression)
  • sex

7
  • The Dignity Act applies to all public school
    districts, BOCES, and charter schools.
  • The Dignity Act applies to incidents on school
    property (including in a school building,
    athletic playing field, playground, parking lot,
    school bus) or at a school-sponsored function
    (school extra curricular event or activity).

8
  • The Dignity Act promotes civility and creates an
    environment free of discrimination and
    harassment.
  • The Dignity Act addresses harassment and
    discrimination of students at school and works
    to prevent future incidents of harassment and
    discrimination.

9
Dignity Act Reporting Basics
  • Annual public school report to the State
    Education Department summarizing all material
    incidents of discrimination and/or harassment
    which occur on school property (including a
    school bus) and/or at a school function

10
Defining A Material Incident of Discrimination
and/or Harassment
  • A single incident or a series of related
    incidents where a student is subjected to
    discrimination and/or harassment by a student
    and/or employee on school property or at a school
    function that creates a hostile environment by
    conduct, with or without physical contact and/or
    by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse, of such
    severe or pervasive nature that
  1. has or would have the effect of unreasonably and
    substantially interfering with a students
    educational performance, opportunities or
    benefits, or mental, emotional and/or physical
    well-being or
  2. reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected
    to cause a student to fear for his or her
    physical safety.

11
Dignity Act Reporting Basics
  • Material incidents of discrimination and/or
    harassment include, but are not limited to,
    threats, intimidation or abuse based on a
    persons actual or perceived race, color, weight,
    national origin, ethnic group, religion,
    religious practice, disability, sexual
    orientation, gender, or sex.

12
Annual report of material incidents to NYSED of
discrimination and/or harassment that
  • Are the result of the investigation of a written
    or oral complaint made to the school principal
    or other school administrator responsible for
    school discipline, or to any other school
    employee or
  • Are otherwise directly observed by such principal
    or administrator, or by any other school employee
    regardless of whether a complaint is made.

13
Cyberbullying Definition
  • Harassment or bullying through any form of
    electronic communication which
  • Has or would have the effect of unreasonably and
    substantially interfering with a students
    educational performance, opportunities or
    benefits, or mental, emotional or physical
    well-being
  • Reasonably causes or would reasonably be
    expected to cause a student to fear for his or
    her physical safety
  • Reasonably causes or would reasonably be
    expected to cause physical injury or emotional
    harm to a student

14
Cyberbullying Definition(cont.)
  • Occurs off school property and creates or would
    foreseeably create a risk of substantial
    disruption within the school environment, where
    it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats,
    intimidation, or abuse might reach school
    property.
  • Acts of harassment and bullying shall include,
    but not be limited to, those acts based on a
    persons actual or perceived race, color, weight,
    national origin, ethnic group, religion,
    religious practice, disability, sexual
    orientation, gender, or sex.

15
  • The principal, superintendent or their designee
    is charged with receiving reports of harassment,
    bullying and discrimination.
  • The principal, superintendent or their designee
    must lead or supervise the thorough investigation
    of all reports of harassment, bullying and
    discrimination, and to ensure that such
    investigation is completed promptly after receipt
    of any written reports.

16
  • When an investigation reveals verified
    harassment, bullying or discrimination, the
    school must take prompt actions reasonably
    calculated to
  • end the harassment, bullying or discrimination
  • eliminate any hostile environment
  • create a more positive school culture and climate
    prevent recurrence of the behavior, and
  • ensure the safety of the student or students
    against whom such harassment, bullying or
    discrimination was directed.

17
  • ANY school employee who witnesses harassment,
    bullying or discrimination, or receives an oral
    or written report of harassment, bullying or
    discrimination, must promptly orally notify the
    principal, superintendent or their designee not
    later than one school day after witnessing or
    receiving a report of harassment, bullying or
    discrimination
  • And file a written report with the principal,
    superintendent or their designee not later than
    two school days after making the oral report

18
  • The principal, superintendent or their designee
    must promptly notify local law enforcement when
    they believe that the harassment, bullying or
    discrimination constitutes criminal conduct

19
  • S 801-a. Instruction in civility,
  • citizenship and character
  • education
  • An emphasis on
  • discouraging acts of
  • harassment, bullying,
  • discrimination
  • Instruction of safe, responsible
  • use of the Internet and
  • electronic communications.

20
www.nea.org/assets/docs/ESP_STOP_Bully_Health-fina
l.pdf
21
  • To implement the Dignity Act in a meaningful
    manner, an evolving school climate and culture
    which supports social and emotional development
    and learning must be proactively supported and
    nurtured throughout the entire school day and the
    school year.
  • www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/sedl

22
  • Building a Safe School Environment
  • A safe school environment needs to encompass the
    entire school community - including the
    classroom, cafeteria, library, restrooms, the
    school bus, the nurses office, and the
    playground.
  • Everyone at school needs to work together to
    create a climate where bullying is not acceptable.

www.stopbullying.gov/prevention/at-school/build-sa
fe-environment/index.html
23
www.naesp.org/sites/default/files/BullyingBookmark
.pdf
24
  • All Faculty And Staff
  • Should Serve As
  • Positive Role Models for All Students
  • in the School.
  • ____________________
  • To Effectively
  • Implement the Dignity
  • Act All Staff Need to
  • Work Toward This
  • Common Goal.

25
  • Creating a positive school environment means
    establishing and promoting a culture of inclusion
    and respect that welcomes ALL students.



26
Review current districtpolicies and procedures
to ensure compliance with U.S. Department of
Education Office of Civil Rights statutes and
regulations which address peer harassment based
on race, color, national origin, sex, or
disability.
27
Review statutes enforced by the U.S. Department
of Education Office for Civil Rights
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which
    prohibits discrimination on the basis of race,
    color, or national origin.
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972,
    which prohibits discrimination on the basis of
    sex.
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and
    Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
    (ADA) of 1990, which prohibit discrimination on
    the basis of a disability.

www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-factsh
eet-201010.pdf
28
The Dignity Act, SAVE, and Federal Civil Rights
Laws
  • School districts may violate Federal civil
  • rights statutes and U.S.E.D. regulations
  • when peer harassment based on race,
  • color, national origin, sex, or disability is
  • sufficiently serious that it creates a hostile
  • environment and such harassment is
  • encouraged, tolerated, not adequately
  • addressed, or ignored by school staff.

www.stopbullying.gov/laws/federal
29
Case Study
www.tolerance.org/bullied
The New York State Education Department and the
Dignity Act Task Force do not endorse or promote
any commercial or for-profit programs.
30
Bullied is a documentary film that chronicles one
students ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies
and offers an inspiring message of hope to those
fighting harassment today. It can become a
cornerstone of anti-bullying efforts in middle
and high schools. Bullied includes A 40-minute
documentary film (DVD), with closed captioning
and with Spanish subtitles A two-part viewers
guide with standards-aligned lesson plans and
activities for use in staff development.
Bullied is designed to help administrators,
teachers and counselors create a safer school
environment for all students, not just those who
are gay and lesbian. It is also intended to help
all students understand the terrible toll
bullying can take on its victims, and to
encourage students to stand up for their
classmates who are being harassed. Bullied has
been endorsed by the National Education
Association. 
The New York State Education Department and the
Dignity Act Task Force do not endorse or promote
any commercial or for-profit programs.
www.tolerance.org/bullied
31
The New York State Education Department and the
Dignity Act Task Force do not endorse or promote
any commercial or for-profit programs.
www.tolerance.org/bullied
32
U.S. Court of Appeals2nd Circuit Court Decision
  • Anthony Zeno v. PPCSD
  • Case decided December 3, 2012
  • Award of damages of 1.0 million to Anthony Zeno
    pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of
    1964 (damages were originally 1.25 million)

33
U.S. Court of Appeals2nd Circuit Court Decision
  • Anthony Zeno (dark skinned bi-racial half
    Latino and half white) transferred from a school
    on Long Island to the PPCSD during 9th grade
  • He was racially harassed for the next 3½ years by
    other students
  • School district was found to be deliberately
    indifferent to his harassment

34
U.S. Court of Appeals2nd Circuit Court Decision
  • The high school was a racially homogenous school
    were minorities represented less than 5 of the
    student population.
  • Anthony was repeatedly harassed and threatened
    both physically and verbally which included
    calling him a n, hanging a noose in a tree,
    threatening to lynch him, and rape his sister
  • Students were suspended and family had order of
    protection
  • NAACP offered to hold racial sensitivity programs
    at no cost which the school district declined

35
U.S. Court of Appeals2nd Circuit Court Decision
  • Anthony was eventually given an IEP because he
    was struggling with acceptance in the school
    environment
  • Title IX officer never followed-up or responded
    to any complaints
  • Mediation was arranged between students and
    Anthony, but Mrs. Zeno wasnt informed and
    mediator had no training in bias or diversity
    issues
  • A staff training session was held to address
    bullying but racial harassment was not
    discussed or addressed
  • Anthony graduated with an IEP diploma

36

  • Set a tone of respect throughout the entire
    school day in the classroom, hallways,
    cafeterias, stairwells, locker rooms, on
    playfields, school buses, at school functions,
    etc.
  • Remember the Dignity Act applies to
    student-to-student and faculty/staff-to-student
    behaviors.

www.thinkb4youspeak.com/ForEducators/GLSEN-Educato
rsGuide.pdf
37
www.thetrevorproject.org
38
Thank You!
  • David Bryant
  • NYS Education Dept
  • 518-486-6090
  • dbryant_at_mail.nysed.gov

www.p12.nysed.gov/dignityact www.facebook.com/di
gnityact
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