The Dignity for All Students Act



New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary 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.

The Dignity Act was signed into law on September 13, 2010 and took effect on July 1, 2012.  The original legislation amended State Education Law by creating a new Article 2 – Dignity for All Students.  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 will be responsible for collecting and reporting data regarding material incidents of discrimination and harassment.

Syracuse City School District’s Policy 5300 on HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, BULLYING OR CYBER BULLYING states that:
 
The Board of Education prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation and bullying of students or school employees. A safe and civil school environment is necessary for learning and required for students to achieve academic success. These behaviors, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, are conduct that disrupts both the students’ ability to learn and the schools ability to educate students in a safe environment.

DEFINITIONS:

“Harassment or Intimidation” for the purposes of this policy means any written (including computer messages), verbal or physical act characteristic, that takes place on school property, at a school sponsored event or on a bus that:

A. Is motivated by an actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, weight, color, religious practice, religion, ancestry, national origin, Native American ancestry/ethnicity, sex, gender, identity, sexual orientation, and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory handicap; or
B. By any other distinguishing characteristic; or
C. A reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, that the act(s) will have the effect of harming a student or damaging the student’s property, or placing the student in reasonable fear of harm to his person or damage to property, or
D. Has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.
 
Bullying shall mean unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct directed at a student or staff member by another student or staff member.
Cyber bullying is bullying that includes, but is not limited to, the following misuses of technology; harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening or terrorizing another student or staff member by way of any technological tool, such as sending, texting or distributing inappropriate or derogatory email messages, instant messages, digital pictures or images, or website postings (including blogs) which has the effect of:

1. Physically, emotionally or mentally harming a student.
2. Damaging, extorting or taking a student’s personal property.
3. Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical, emotional or mental harm.
4. Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property; or
5. Creating an intimidating or hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities.
 
All forms of Intimidation, Harassment, Bullying or Cyber Bullying are unacceptable and, to the extent that such actions are disruptive of the educational process of the School District, offenders shall be subject to appropriate staff interventions, which may result in administrative discipline.

The policy shall include acts of intimidation, harassment and bullying that occur on or off school grounds, such as cyber-bullying (e.g., the use of electronic or wireless devices to harass, intimidate or bully) when such activity can reasonably be determined to threaten a student or staff’s physical or
emotional safety and well-being, create a hostile school environment, or threaten the safety and wellbeing of other students or staff while on school grounds.
 
Policy Adoption: April 18, 2007
Policy Revision: May 10, 2011
Policy Revision: June 10, 2015
 
Dignity Act Brochure
 

Dignity Act Coordinators 2022-23

BELLEVUE ES
Laura Mitchell
Patick Cosmo


BRIGHTON ACADEMY MS
Peter Neeves
Mark Vasquez

CLARY MS
Jason Rutkey
Linsey Baracco

CORCORAN HS
Meghan Snell
Dani Perkins
January Kelly

DELAWARE PRIMARY ES
Karen Earl
Maya Arocho-Bague

DR. WEEKS ES
Leah Mazella-Mannion
Demetria Luces

ED SMITH PK-8
Jennifer Dibello
Cara Fiori Potamianos


ELMCREST
Katrina Allen
Randi Wheeler

ELMS MS
Kevin Burns
Diane Ogno
 
FRANKLIN ES
Kim Coyne
Kim Vargas

FRAZER PK-8
Abbie Hoffman
Joy Yoffa
Stan Whalen
Regina Russo

GRANT MS
Ashley Killenbeck
Hayley Downs 

HENNINGER HS
Nadia Essi
Jeff Charles
Kim Goldman
Craig Heckman

HUNTINGTON PK-8
Jerome Watts 
Mandy Richter

HW SMITH PK-8
Victor Ciciarelli
Alia Abughoush Williams

ITC HS
Samantha Maddox 
Melissa Mendez

LEMOYNE MONTESSORI ES
Rebecca Chynoweth
Elizabeth Leonard

LINCOLN MS
Matt Lochner
Tim Phelps

 
MCCARTHY @ BEARD
Melissa Tooley
Amy Salisbury

MCKINLEY-BRIGHTON ES
Karen Dotson 
Suzanne Creekmoore

MEACHEM ES
Kevin Murphy
Nadine Sansone

NOTTINGHAM HS
Greg Jones
Shavonna Fitzgerald
 
OASIS ACADEMY
Dr. Rosemary Bradley
Roneka Robinson
Providenza Procopio
Todd Bradbury 

PFLA
Dan Evans
John Dittman 

PORTER
Caston Binger
Melissa Giardine

PSLA @ FOWLER HS
Jasmine Price
Patrick Otts
Ingrid Paredes


ROBERTS PK-8
Sharon Archer
Leigh Sexton

SALEM HYDE ES
Caitlyn Hamilton
Eileen O’Hara
 
SEYMOUR DUAL LANG ES
James Nieves
Pedro Abreu

STEAM AT DR. KING ES
Priscilla Newby
Fredrick Morse

SYRACUSE LATIN PK-8
Sophia Burden
Shonette Harper
Stacy Hart 
Evangelia Zavagelia


SYRACUSE STEM AT BLODGETT MS
James Dow
Michele Walker

VAN DUYN ES
Dr. Reba Hodge
Molly Phelps

WEBSTER ES
Elizabeth Bielass
Mamie Howard