Dignity for All Students Act
Please click on the link below to view an informative video regarding New York State's Dignity for All Students Act.
The Dignity Act prohibits discrimination and harassment of students by staff and other students defined 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. Such 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.
If you know of a student currently being harassed on school grounds or at a school function, please report via the Incident of Bullying Student Reporting Form.
The Dignity Act Implementation at ESM
- Code of Conduct: The ESM code of conduct was amended by counsel to include the terms and definitions needed to be compliant with the Dignity Act. The Code of Conduct is available on BoardDocs as well as in the main office of any of our school buildings.
- Dignity Act Coordinator: The District-wide Dignity Act Coordinator is Linda Weiss, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Student Services. To comply with the Dignity Act, at least one staff member in each building has also been designated as a Dignity Act Coordinator. These Dignity Act Coordinators have been appointed by the Board of Education and will be available to handle issues of human relations and to respond to issues of discrimination and harassment.
- District-wide Coordinator, 631-801-3022: Linda Weiss
- South Street School, 631-801-3141: Principal John-Michael Jackson and Yael Aboulafia
- Tuttle Avenue School, 631-801-3180: Principal JeanMarie Zambelli and Christine Kelly
- Dayton Avenue School, 631-801-3081: Principal Shelita Watkis and Heather Joy Basirico and Maureen McKernon
- Eastport Elementary, 631-801-3171: Principal Thomas Fabian and Andrew Herbst
- ESM Jr-Sr High School, 631-801-3292: Assistant Principal James McClintock, Pamela Camacho, Peter Gomez, Shivani Renjen, Gary Stein, and Brooke Ross
- Instruction in civility, citizenship and character education: Current programs have been expanded to include the concepts of tolerance, respect for others and dignity. This includes an awareness and sensitivity to discrimination or harassment and civility in the relations of people of different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, genders and sexes. These themes will be integrated throughout the curriculum in age-appropriate ways at all grade levels.
The foundation for DASA in Eastport-South Manor has been created through our Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports systems (PBIS). PBIS includes character education, establishes expectations for student behavior in school, and promotes a safe, positive learning environment for everyone. PBIS has been a District-wide initiative since 2011, and the extensive training our staff has received for PBIS is integral for the implementation of DASA.
Our staff continues to receive on-going training specifically for DASA, which includes identifying bullying/harassment, reporting incidents and incorporating DASA principles into the curriculum. For more information about this training, please review the following PowerPoint presentations:
PBIS Training for Faculty
PBIS Training for Aides
PBIS Training for Bus Drivers
Bullying is a form of harassment. According to the US Department of Education, bullying generally involves the following characteristics:
- An imbalance of power: Children who bully use their power, such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity, to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- The Intent to Cause Harm: The person bullying has a goal to cause harm.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors generally are repeated and happen over time.
School staff members will continue to report incidents of harassment by filling out the building behavior referral form. Harassment (and all other misbehavior) should be reported immediately to a building administrator. Students are encouraged to tell a parent or staff member if they are being harassed at school. Building administrators will follow up on all reports, investigate and react appropriately. Material incidents of discrimination and harassment will be reported as required to NYSED.