Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
What is DASA?
The Dignity for All Students Act is a New York State Law that prohibits harassment, discrimination, and bullying by students to other students and teachers to students.
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 a person’s 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 or at a school function.
What is harassment?
Harassment shall mean 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 includes but is not limited to, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.
What do I do if I believe harassment is occurring?
Any member of the school community may make a verbal, written, or electronic complaint of harassment to West Valley’s Dignity Act Coordinator. The Dignity Act Coordinator is posted throughout the school building and on the school’s website. During the school day students may retrieve a “Material Incident Reporting Form” from one of the main offices. Students complete the form and may submit that to any adult in the building or directly to the Dignity Act Coordinator.
The Dignity Act Coordinator will review the “Material Incident” report or the complaint and conduct an investigation. The investigation may include interviews with students, adults, and other school personnel. After completing the investigation, the Dignity Act Coordinator will make a determination with respect to the original report and will communicate the outcome of the investigation to the student who may have been harassed. The Dignity Act Coordinator has a wide range of options to resolve a potential harassment situation including but not limited to, issuing a warning, mediation, disciplinary consequences, contacting parents, contacting law enforcement, etc.