Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) Parent Memo

    The Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) went into effect on July 1, 2012. Its intent is to create more nurturing school environments free of discrimination and harassment of students by students and by school personnel. The Dignity Act defines harassment as “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…” New York Education Law § 11(7). Under the Dignity Act, harassment includes conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual or perceived:

    • Race

    • Color

    • Weight

    National origin

    • Ethnic group

    • Religion

    • Religious practice

    • Sex

    • Gender

    • Sexual orientation

    • Disability

    The list of characteristics above is not exclusive- harassment may include conduct based on other characteristics as well. Also note that harassment may be based on actual or perceived characteristics, for example, a student’s perceived sexual orientation.

    From the NYS Education Department’s Brochure on the Dignity Act:

    Q: Who is protected by the Dignity Act?

    A: All public elementary and secondary school students are protected by the Dignity Act.

    Q: What does the Dignity Act prohibit?

    A: The Dignity Act prohibits the harassment and discrimination of students by students and by school personnel.

    Q: How does the Dignity Act relate to bullying and hazing?

    A: Bullying and hazing are forms of harassment and discrimination.

    Q: What physical spaces are covered by the Dignity Act?

    A: The Dignity Act applies to behavior on school property (including athletic fields, playgrounds, and parking lots), in school buildings, on a school bus/vehicle, as well as at school-sponsored events or activities.

    Q: How does the Dignity Act relate to the school’s Code of Conduct?

    A: The Code of Conduct must be amended to reflect the prohibition of discrimination and harassment of students by students or staff-- in age appropriate plain language.

    For more on the Dignity Act, see these resource websites:




    If you have questions or concerns that are Dignity Act related, please contact the Dignity Act Coordinator for your school: 

    ALC:  Lisa Strassner, ext. 13610   

    Berea Elementary:  Katherine Gusmano, ext. 11647

    East Coldenham Elementary: Alexandra Riker, ext. 12006

    Montgomery Elementary: Melinda Sulzbach, ext. 14645

    Walden Elementary: Diane Cassell-Smith, ext. 15645

    Middle School: Catherine Heil, ext. 16241

    High School: James Hession, ext. 17647


    Complaint Form DASA

    If you are unable to access this complaint form, please click here and request it in alternate form by email.  

Last Modified on January 27, 2020