Dignity For All Students Act (DASA)

  • Preventing and Addressing Bias-Based Harassment in Schools

    The Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) took effect July 1, 2012. Its purpose is to provide students with a school environment free of discrimination and harassment by peers and by school personnel. It applies to behaviors on school property, in school buildings, on a school bus, as well as at school-sponsored events or activities.  Incidents of harassment and discrimination may include, but are not limited to, 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 (including gender identity or expression), and sex. These eleven categories are referred to as protected classes.

    The new law includes provisions that will alter reporting, codes of conduct, professional development, and classroom instruction.

    DASA Coordinators for 2019-20

    Winderemere Boulevard School
         Leslie Barr, social worker
          Melissa Stasio, school counselor
         Amy Steger, assistant principal


    Smallwood Drive School
         J. Richard Crozier, assistant principal
         Jennifer Noe, social worker


    Amherst Middle School
         Keith Crombie, assistant principal
         Pamela Primerano, social worker


    Amherst High School
         Scott Lawniczak, assistant principal
         Daniela Wolfe, social worker


    What is DASA?

    • The Dignity for All Students Act was established with the broad legislative intent to provide a school environment free of discrimination and harassment.
    • Prohibits harassment of students on school property or at school functions, and designates many forms of bullying as unlawful discrimination.

    What is Bullying? 

    Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

    Cyberbullying is defined as bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.

    Addressing Bullying is a Balancing Act, Our Goal is:

    • To teach students that certain speech is inappropriate for school while teaching them respect for the First Amendment.
    • To respect the legitimacy of students’ privacy, opinions, and ideas while creating a safe school environment for everyone.
    • To establish high, but realistic, expectations for young people.

    Cyber Bullying

    • Educators are not expected to “spy” on students’ out-of-school communications. Educational resources should not be used to seek out online communications that are inappropriate.
    • But, educators should be willing to step in when cyber bullying affects a students’ ability to function in school.

    Cyberbullying Amendment to DASA

    The New York State Legislature passed an amendment to the Dignity for All Students Act to specifically address cyberbullying not only within schools but also incidents that occur off school property that could "foreseeably disrupt" the school environment. This amendment takes effect July 1, 2013.

    A Comprehensive Approach to Bullying Prevention for Amherst Schools

    • Character Education Program
    • Culturally Responsive Teaching Program
    • Tiger Tip Line – 362-2255
    • Email at tipline@amherstschools.org
    • Teacher and Staff Education on Bullying
    • Teachers, Counselors and Social Workers Mediation
    • Use our Disciplinary Process – Code of Conduct
    • Strong Supervision within the Building



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