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The Dignity Act Amendments to 8 NYCRR 100.2(c), 100.2(jj), 100.2(l) Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Michael Sellet Regional.

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Presentation on theme: "The Dignity Act Amendments to 8 NYCRR 100.2(c), 100.2(jj), 100.2(l) Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Michael Sellet Regional."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Dignity Act Amendments to 8 NYCRR 100.2(c), 100.2(jj), 100.2(l) Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Michael Sellet Regional Safety Coordinator Carol B. Sneyd Regional Safety Technician

2 The Dignity Act July 1, 2012 It is hereby declared to be the policy of New York State to afford all students in public schools an environment free of discrimination and harassment. Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 2

3 The Dignity Act (cont.) School districts may be in violation of Federal Civil Rights statutes and U.S.E.D. regulations when peer harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disability is sufficiently serious that it creates a hostile environment and such harassment is encouraged, tolerated, not adequately addressed, or ignored by school staff. Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 3

4 The Dignity Act (cont.)  BOE must include language addressing the Dignity Act in their codes of conduct  Schools will be responsible for collecting and reporting data regarding incidents of discrimination and harassment by using the annual summary of violent and disruptive incidents form(VADIR)* *we expect that the state will use VADIR but it is not yet addressed in guidance documents. Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 4

5 The Dignity Act Coordinator The Dignity Act requires that at least one staff member at every school be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, and sex (Education Law §13[3]). This staff member should be referred to as the Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC). Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 5

6 The Dignity Act Coordinator (cont.)  Board approved  Back up is recommended (can have several)  Must be accessible to students and other employees for consultation and advice – as needed  Dignity Act Coordinator needs a designated address  Must post contact information  Non – means to contact the DAC if there are people who do not have access to Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 6

7 The Dignity Act Coordinator - Responsibilities  Diverse Responsibilities – depending on district and building culture  Needs to manage the day to day response to reports  Receives reports  Makes referrals  Documents school response Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 7

8 The Dignity Act Coordinator - Responsibilities  Should be charged with assisting to identify alternative programs to prevent future negative behaviors  Should help the student being bullied also needs to support the bully so that they might gain alternative skills  Should show sensitivity to the culture/ ethnicity/ background/social norms of both parties Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 8

9 Dignity Act Committee  District may have a district level coordinator or dignity act committee to oversee the overall response  Committee needs to have a chair person  Made up of all of the building level coordinators  Meeting minutes need to be kept and maintained  Allows for consistent response, sharing of ideas Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 9

10 Dignity Act Committee- Role  Conducts and reviews school climate surveys  Review current state of building climate by surveying staff, students and parents  Do parents and staff feel that students are safe?  Do students feel safe?  Where do they feel unsafe?  Where do bullying and harassment actually occur in your building?  Where do you need to increase supervision?  Other  Review the number and type of complaints  Review the types of investigation and the results  Make suggestions and recommendations to administration to improve school climate Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 10

11 School Climate and Culture Resources Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 11

12 Dignity Act Training  Must include students, teachers and all staff  Coaches, bus drivers, monitors, substitute teachers, substitute custodians  Must Review Code of Conduct including new language  Must address issues identified by climate surveys or school climate committee  Must be continuous throughout the school year  Diversity  Civility and Character Education  Citizenship Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 12

13 Dignity Act Training (cont.)  Suggestions for incorporating continuous training into routine activities:  DA “minute” at meetings and during the morning announcements  DA articles in district, building and student papers and newsletters  Integrate citizenship and civility into course work  Reviewing one part of code of conduct at assemblies, during announcements, in articles and newsletters Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 13

14 Definitions – school property School property Includes:  athletic fields  playgrounds  parking lots  school buildings  school bus/vehicle  school-sponsored events or activities (on and off campus) Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 14

15 Definitions – harassment 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;…” Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 15

16 Definitions – hostile environment A hostile environment can be created when:  conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for their physical safety  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 Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 16

17 Definitions – bullying  Bullying is the intentional, unprovoked abuse of power by one or more individuals to inflict pain on or cause distress to another individual on repeated occasions  The behavior can take many forms including physical, verbal and emotional abuse, social exclusion, intimidation, racial/ethnic slurs, and sexual harassment  Bullying online and through digital technologies is known as cyber-bullying Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 17

18 No student shall be subjected to discrimination based on their actual or perceived : Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 18  Race  Color  National origin  Disability  Sex  Weight  Ethnic group  Religion  Religious practice  Sexual orientation  Gender identity

19 Additional Groups  Some characteristics which may not be among the identified groups but may be targets of bullying  Academic ability  Resettled refugees  Homeless students  Low or different economic status from district demographic  Bedbugs or lice  Children in foster care and/or with incarcerated parents  Others?? Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 19

20 Part II Discussion and Information Sharing Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 20

21 Codes of Conduct  How has your district re-written your Code of Conduct?  Age appropriate language summaries  Publicize and train contents of COC  Accessibility – where is it stored?  If online – does everyone have access to a computer  Review with staff, students and teachers  How is it shared with parents?  Language? Can everyone read it? Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 21

22 Code of Conduct- Guidance Document ments/DASACodeofConductFinal44-1.pdf Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 22

23 District Policy Changes  Policies to create a school environment free from discrimination or harassment  Guidelines to be used in school training programs to raise the awareness and sensitivity of school employees to potential discrimination or harassment  Guidelines to enable employees to prevent and respond to discrimination and harassment Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 23

24 District Policy – Guidance Document ments/LocalDASAModelPolicyRev _1.pdf Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 24

25 Consequences for harassing behavior  What consequences are already in place?  Are they age appropriate?  Are they consistently enforced throughout the district?  How is your district handling this?  Examples Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 25

26 Examples of Consequences Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 26  Time Out  Loss of Privilege  Verbal Reprimand  Participation in guided reflection  Parental Notification  Detention  Referral  Change in seating  Change in classroom  Suspension  Expulsion  Change of school  Other?

27 Sample Rubric Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 27

28 Examples of Remediation Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 28  Parent/student conference  Corrective instruction  Behavioral contract  Positive behavioral support  Assignment of leadership responsibilities  Counseling  Community service  Restitution and restoration  Mediation  Supervised peer support group  Recommendations of a student behavior or ethics council  Behavioral management program  Supportive discipline to increase accountability for the bullying behavior  Supportive intervention  Involvement of school disciplinarian  Student treatment/therapy

29 Tracking It is recommended that districts and BOCES review their Codes of Conduct to ensure that they contain provisions for reporting incidents of discrimination, harassment, and bullying. This reporting mechanism may help form the basis for collecting data that can be useful in assessing school climate. Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 29

30 Tracking  What tracking methods do you already have in place that can be used as is or modified to work to track bullying and harassment? Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 30

31 Legal Considerations  Negligent Supervision: no adult supervision  Violation of Constitutional Rights: knew or should have known and responded in an unreasonable manner  Discrimination: “protected class” victim claims that response was not prompt or effective Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 31

32 Exercise: case study 1 On May 16, Crystal, a 16 year old junior high school student, had an argument in a store with three female classmates. The classmates threatened to beat Crystal up the next day at school. The next morning, Crystal told the Vice Principal about the threats. The V.P. dismissed the threats as “all talk” and instructed her to go to class. (cont. on next slide) Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 32

33 Exercise: case study 1 On her way to class, Crystal was attacked by the three girls who struck her repeatedly with a metal padlock. Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 33

34 Exercise: case study 2  You hear through others that 11 year old Henry is being teased by his classmates several times a week. In particular, two children -a girl, Krissy, and a boy, Michael make fun of the way he looks and have convinced most of his classmates to avoid him at lunch. Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 34

35 Exercise: case study 3 On the second day of eighth grade, a girl in Emily's class shoved her into the road. Thinking she was playing, Emily shoved her back. Rumors began circulating within the school and Emily gained a reputation. The girl was part of a group of girls who continued to spread rumors about Emily; they also began stalking her in the playground. Some of the teachers, believing the rumors about Emily, accused her of bullying the other girl, and cautioned her parents about her behavior. Roughly once every 2 weeks Emily's parents would meet with the principal to try to convince him that Emily was the victim. No one in authority admitted that bullying existed at the school. Nothing was done. (cont. on next slide) Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 35

36 Exercise: case study 3 For 3 years, the bullying continued with silent phone calls, threats, and occasional physical incidents. Each time after Emily or her parents complained, the teachers would glare at her in the hallway. After the bully graduated, the rest of the group of girls continued the bullying. Once when they cornered Emily against the wall, a teacher approached them and threatened Emily with further punishment if she continued her behavior. The teacher then sent the other girls back to the playground. Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 36

37 Exercise: case study 4 Jonathan is constantly "losing his cool" in the classroom and has been picking fights with students in the playground. His parents have been to the school on numerous occasions and have complained that teachers do not do enough to stop the bullies from harassing their son. But, you know that he sets himself up to be bullied by taunting others in the class, being rude, taking part in silly actions such as tripping girls who pass his desk, etc. You do not condone his behavior, but you do not condone his classmates' reaction, even though you also find him annoying, untrustworthy, and difficult. In addition, it is known that fighting often occurs in his family. Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 37

38 Exercise: case study 4 You do not condone his behavior, and you do not condone his classmates' reaction, even though you also find him annoying, untrustworthy, and difficult. In addition, it is known that fighting often occurs in his family. Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 38

39 Resources rceguide.html rces.html Risk and Safety Department Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES 39

40 Questions? COSER 698


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