Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
Ballston Spa High School is proud to be a Gold Star School for the No Place for Hate Initiative!!
No Place for Hate is designed to enhance a culture of respect and to create a safe, bully-free learning environment for students at all grade levels. In compliance with the New York State Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), No Place for Hate offers schools the opportunity to be recognized for their staff development and student training related to bullying, harassment and discrimination.
Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
New York State's Dignity for All Students Act (DASA, Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public 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. In July 2013 the Act was amended to include cyberbullying.
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.
Additionally, under the Dignity Act, schools are responisbile for collecting and reporting data regarding material incidents of discrimination and harassment.
For more information about the Dignity for All Students Act, please click here: The Dignity Act
Dignity Act Implementation at BSCSD
CODE OF CONDUCT: The BSCSD code of conduct was amended by counsel to include the terms and definitions needed to be compliant with the Dignity Act. The revised code was adopted by the Board of Education on August 21, 2013. The code of conduct is also available from any building main office.
DIGNITY ACT COORDINATOR (DAC): To comply with the Dignity Act, a staff member in each building has been designated as a Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC). The DAC will be available to handle issues of human relations and to respond to issues of bullying, discrimination and harassment. The Dignity Act Coordinator at the High School is Mrs. Daina Sisk, Assistant Principal. Mrs. Sisk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 884-7150.
INSTRUCTION IN CIVILITY, CITIZENSHIP AND CHARACTER EDUCATION: Current programs have expanded the concepts of tolerance, respect for others and dignity to include: an awareness and sensitivity to discrimination or harassment and civility in the relations of people of different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, genders and sexes.
Character Education Activities at the High School
We offer building wide programs in the fall and continue to promote positive character throughout the year with our student clubs and ELA/Social Studies curriculums. We are endorsed by the Anti-Defamation League and recognized as Gold Star, No Place for Hate School. We have a very active student group, the NCBI Club, that conducts many school initiatives to promote respect within our school and community. The National Coalition Building Institute(NCBI) is a non-profit leadership group that works to eliminate prejudice and inter-group conflict in communities, organizations, and schools throughout the world. Our student leaders participate in intensive trainings and then lead workshops for peers to raise awareness of our own diversity while promoting the concepts of acceptance and respect. Specifically, ninth grade students participate in a three hour character program each year and upperclassmen receive follow up NCBI workshops about civility, respect and dignity during health class. English and Social Studies classes teach about tolerance, acceptance and citizenship. Multiple student clubs also enhance the education of respect and acceptance; some examples include Best Buddies, Interact Club, NCBI, Peer mentoring, Student Council, and Students Helping Students.
DEFINITIONS AND REPORTING
The Dignity Act prohibits discrimination and harassment of students by staff and other students defined 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; such
conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse includes but is not limited to conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person's actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual
orientation, gender or sex.
Bullying is a form of harassment. According to the US Department of Education bullying generally involves the following characteristics:
An imbalance of power: Children who bully use their power to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
The Intent to Cause Harm: The person bullying has a goal to cause harm.
Repetition: Bullying behaviors generally are repeated and happen over time.
Reporting: School staff members will continue to report incidents of harassment by filling out the building behavior referral form. Harassment (and all other misbehavior) should be reported immediately to a building administrator. Students are encouraged to tell a parent or staff member if they are being harassed at school. Building administrators will follow up on all reports, investigate and react appropriately. Material Incidents of discrimination and harassment will be reported as required to NYSED.
If you know of a student currently being harassed on school grounds or at a school function please report via the form below.
Reporting is an important first step in the fight against bullying. High school students should report bullying to any administrator, counselor, teacher or staff member. It is best if the report is written in addition to a verbal report. There are two acceptable report forms:
Internal Report Form for Students and Staff regarding a high school incident only – this must be printed and submitted to the Assistant Principal’s office.
Electronic Report Form for Parents/Guardians and all community members regarding an incident anywhere in the district – this form is submitted to the district office and then distributed to the appropriate Dignity Act Coordinator per building.
See the District Webpage for more detailed information regarding the implementation of The Dignity Act in all Ballson Spa schools.
Links for more information and resources:
American Psychological Association- How parents, teachers and kids can take action to prevent bullying.
Stop Bullying. Gov- Provides information from federal government agendcies on how kids, teens, young adults, parents, educators and others in the community can work together to prevent or stop bullying.
Bullying is a serious problem? Bullying can happen anywhere: face-to-face, by text messages or on the web. It is not limited by age, gender, or education level. It is not a phase and it is not a joke. Bullying can cause lasting harm.
Bullying is a widespread and serious problem that can happen anywhere. It is not a phase children have to go through, it is not "just messing around", and it is not something to grow out of. Bullying can cause serious and lasting harm. More information on Statistics and Strategies.