All children have the right to attend school in a safe, welcoming, and caring environment. DASA specifically ensures this for New York State public school students. The Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act also known as DASA) was signed into law on September 13, 2010. The legislation amended State Education Law by creating a new Article 2, Dignity for All Students, and revising Section 801-a regarding instruction in civility, citizenship, character education, tolerance, respect for others, and dignity. It combats bias-based bullying, harassment, and discrimination in public schools, and includes awareness and sensitivity in the relations of people including individuals of different races, weights, national origins, ethnicity, religions or religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexes, sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions.
- The Dignity Act promotes civility and creates a safe nurturing environment.
- The Dignity Act provides a response to students who are harassed and bullied at school.
Dignity Act § 11: Harassment – the creation of a hostile environment by:
- conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for their physical safety
- 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.
Highlights of the new law, effective July 1, 2012
- All public elementary and secondary school students are protected.
- DASA prohibits the harassment and discrimination of students by students and by school personnel.
Programs at Cairo-Durham CSD
The Cairo-Durham Central School District offers many programs throughout the school year that are intended to create a safe, bullying-free learning environment. We offer programs for both students and parents. Here are a few examples of recent programs, presentations and activities:
- "Champion of Choices" with Marc Mero
- Sources of Strength
- Senior peer mentors
- Instituting "PR," or positive referral system
- Mix-it-Up Day
- Conflict Resolution with Common Ground (6th grade)
- No Name-Calling Week (GLSEN)
- "Breaking the Cycle"
- Sweethearts & Heroes community seminar
- Unified sports
- Mustang Mayhem and Spirit Week to promote a positive environment
- Pride Center visits
- Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
- Cyberbullying presentations (NetSmartz & KidSmartz)
Additionally, CDMS and CDHS offer anonymous bullying report forms for students, staff and/or parents to make anonymous reports of bullying. The reports are investigated and handled according to district policy.
Dignity Act Coordinators
Cairo-Durham Elementary School Dignity Act Coordinators Marie Culihan, Principal (firstname.lastname@example.org) Paul Cardettino, Assistant Principal (email@example.com) Alyssa Hansen, School Counselor (firstname.lastname@example.org) Amber Gravlin, School Psychologist (email@example.com) Phone: 518-622-3231 Cairo-Durham Middle School Dignity Act Coordinators Michael Mitchell, Principal (firstname.lastname@example.org) Kristina Westfall, Guidance Counselor (email@example.com) Phone: 518-622-0490 Cairo-Durham High School Dignity Act Coordinators Nick Fitzgerald, Principal (firstname.lastname@example.org) Joseph Witazek, Assistant Principal (email@example.com) Justin Karker, Guidance Counselor (firstname.lastname@example.org, extension 56010) Kendall Fritze, Guidance Counselor (email@example.com, extension 56010) Karen Drossel, Social Worker (firstname.lastname@example.org) Claire Marcus, School Psychologist (email@example.com) Phone: 518-622-8543 District Wide Dignity Act Coordinator Douglas Morrissey, Director of Pupil Personnel Services Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 518-622-8543