A regulation named the Dignity for All Students Act went into effect July 1, 2012 in New York State. Its purpose is to ensure that all elementary and secondary public school students have the right to attend school in an environment that is free of discrimination, harassment, and bullying.
New York State Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) prohibits actions — such as aggression, threats, and intimidation — that interfere with another student’s educational performance both at school and district events. It also creates a framework for sensitivity and diversity training to promote a positive school environment.
Each school’s Code of Conduct includes the provisions of DASA. The codes are updated annually, and can be found under each school’s quick links (right hand side of the page.)
DASA requires that at least one person at every school be thoroughly trained to handle harassing behaviors that may be related but not limited to a person’s actual or perceived: race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, gender and sex. Designated school professionals have been trained to act as Anti-Bullying Coordinators at each of the buildings within the district.
The DASA coordinators attend annual DASA trainings. Also, staff in every school building have been trained to be sensitive to bullying, report when bullying occurs, and to help those who have already been victimized. The staff training programs are designed to raise the awareness and sensitivity of our staff to potential discrimination or harassment directed at students that are committed by students or school employee on school ground or at school functions. These trainings will assist staff to prevent and respond to discrimination and harassment.
DASA Reporting Form
Parents and students can anonymously report an incident of bullying and harassment by filling out the Cohoes City School District DASA Reporting form. It is a fillable PDF that can be printed and mailed to one of the DASA coordinators listed above.
If you cannot access this document, please contact Aaron Cagwin in the district communications office at email@example.com to receive the information in an alternate format.
Key Definitions from DASA
- Bullying: A hostile activity which harms or induces fear through the threat of further aggression and/or creates terror. Bullying may be premeditated or a sudden activity. Bullying often includes the following characteristics:
- Power imbalance – occurs when a bully uses his/ her physical or social power over a target. Intent to harm – the bully seeks to inflict physical or emotional harm and/or takes pleasure in this activity.
- Threat of further aggression – the bully and target believe that bullying will continue.
- Terror – When any bullying increases, it becomes a systematic violence or harassment used to intimidate and maintain dominance. There are several types of bullying, including verbal, physical and social/relational.
- Discrimination: The act of denying rights, benefits, justice, equitable treatment or access to facilities available to all others, to an individual or group of people because of the group, class or category to which that person belongs (as enumerated in the harassment section).
- Harassment: 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. The harassing behavior may be based on any characteristic, including but not limited to a person’s actual or perceived: race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or gender (including gender identity and expression).
- Hazing: An induction, initiation or membership process involving harassment which produces public humiliation, physical or emotional discomfort, bodily injury or public ridicule or creates a situation where public humiliation, physical or emotional discomfort, bodily injury or public ridicule is likely to occur.