Dignity for All Students Act

Herkimer Central School District Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) Plain Language Summary

In accordance with DASA, the Herkimer Board of Education recognizes that a safe and supportive learning environment is essential for promoting student attendance and academic achievement.   Incidents of discrimination, harassment and  bullying, including but not limited to taunting, intimidation, and cyberbullying (harassment or bullying through any form of electronic communication) can interfere with a student’s ability to learn and the district’s ability to educate its students. Therefore, the district is committed to promoting civility throughout the school and creating an environment that is free of discrimination, harassment, bullying, and cyberbullying.

The district prohibits any action on or off school property that creates or foreseeably creates a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, or where it is foreseeable that the conduct might reach school property. This includes all forms of discrimination, harassment, bullying, and cyberbullying of students by school employees or other students.  The district prohibits all forms of discrimination, harassment, bullying, or cyberbullying based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, sexual orientation or gender.

Students who fail to act in a respectful, dignified, and civil manner toward others while on  school property or at a school sponsored function, may be subject to formal disciplinary action, including a referral, detention, in-school suspension, short term out-of-school suspension,  or long term out-of-school  suspension. These consequences may also apply to students who engage in discrimination, harassment, bullying, or cyberbullying off school property when the behavior creates or foreseeably creates a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, or where it is foreseeable that the conduct might reach school property.

The district will investigate and document every reported incident of discrimination, harassment, bullying, or cyberbullying. Incidents may be reported to the school by students, parents, school employees, or concerned community members. DASA liaisons will interview alleged victims, witnesses, and other relevant individuals. Disciplinary consequences will be assigned as appropriate according to the District Code of Conduct.

Student Rights & Responsibilities

Students have the right to take part in all district activities on an equal basis, regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, sexual orientation or gender.

Students have the right to be protected from intimidation, harassment, discrimination, bullying, cyberbullying based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, sexual orientation or gender by school employees or other students.

Students have the responsibility to respect one another and treat each other fairly, civilly and with dignity according to the Student Code of Conduct, other district policies, and the Dignity for All Students Act.

Students have the responsibility to promote an environment that is free from intimidation, harassment, discrimination, bullying or cyberbullying.

Students have the responsibility to report incidents of discrimination, harassment, bullying, or cyberbullying that are experienced, witnessed or otherwise brought to their attention. Incidents are to be reported in a timely manner to a DASA liaison.

Parent/Guardian Rights & Responsibilities

Parents/guardians have the responsibility to teach their children respect and dignity toward themselves and others, regardless of actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, sexual orientation or gender.

Parents have the responsibility to report incidents of discrimination, harassment, bullying, and cyberbullying that are witnessed or otherwise brought to their attention. Incidents are to be reported in a timely manner to the Dignity Act liaison.

School Employee Responsibilities

School employees have the responsibility to maintain a climate of mutual respect and dignity.

School employees have the responsibility to confront issues of discrimination, harassment, bullying or cyberbullying, or any situation that threatens the emotional or physical health safety of any student, school employee, or any person who is lawfully on school grounds or at a school sponsored event.

School employees have the responsibility to address personal biases that may prevent equal treatment of all students in the school or classroom setting. School employees have the responsibility to report incidents of discrimination, harassment, bullying or cyberbullying that are witnessed or otherwise brought to their attention. School employees must orally report incidents to the Dignity Act liaison within one school day after witnessing or receiving a report of such incident. School employees must also file a written report within two school days after making the oral report.

Dignity Act Liaisons

Designated staff in both schools are thoroughly trained to handle human  relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion or religious practice, disability, sexual orientation or gender. The Dignity Act Coordinators will ensure that trained personnel will be accessible for consultation and advice regarding the expectations of the Dignity for All Students Act.