Effective July 1, all schools in New York state are expected to comply with the provisions set forth in the Dignity for All Students Act, or "DASA." DASA is an anti-bullying law aimed at putting at least some of the onus on school districts, supervisors, counselors and teachers to combat bullying in the school system.
The Dignity Act explicitly prohibits harassment and discrimination of students with "respect to certain non-exclusive protected classes, including, but not limited to, the student's actual or perceived 'race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex," according to a 2010 release from then-Governor Patterson's office. Gov. Patterson signed the bill into law before leaving office.
Some of the programs intended to curb bullying in the schools is special sensitivity training and character education exercises. Last month, the Sachem School Board passed a resolution allowing the district to reword its charter and code of conduct language to incorporate the new DASA guidelines.
Now that the law is in effect, we ask in our poll: Is an anti-bullying law necessary? Take our poll, or drop a comment below.