I am writing to inform you about the New York State Dignity for All Students Act, also known as Dignity Act, which took effect July 1, 2012. The Act was established with broad legislative intent to provide a school environment free of discrimination and harassment. Identified in the legislation are those who are subjected to intimidation or abuse based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex. The Dignity Act applies to behaviors on school property (including athletic fields, playgrounds and parking lots), in school buildings, on a school bus or vehicle as well as school sponsored activities. Teachers and staff members were trained in the components and practices of the Dignity Act before the school year began. In addition, the following lists some of the events that will take place and be integrated throughout the school year:
· Ongoing reminders through Student Council and other announcements, · Review of the Code of Conduct to insure alignment with the Act including a simple “plain language” summary for the students, · Principal/Assistant Principal led assemblies with students, · Library displays of relevant books and · Direct instruction for students on civility, citizenship, character, tolerance, respect for others, and dignity through The Great Body Shop Health Program and classroom presentations by our school Guidance Counselor.
As a parent, you play a vital role in this process. Talk with your child and explain the importance of his/her actions each and every day. Let your child know that reasonable consequences for violations will be in place. Let your child know that you will enthusiastically support our school in enforcing this Act. For additional information, please visit the New York State website: www.p12.nysed.gov/dignityact.
If you have any questions, you may call Shelter Rock’s Dignity Act Coordinator, Mrs. Paulette Williams, Assistant Principal, at (516) 267-7450.