Brewster, N.Y. – (2/16/2012) – On Wednesday, February 15th, Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) joined parents and students of the George Fisher Middle School to give an overview of the “Dignity for All Students Act” (A.3661/S.1987), or “Dignity,” a measure intended to combat bullying in New York State’s public schools.
“Unlike when many of us were kids, bullying no longer stops when a kid gets off the bus. The advent of the internet and all social connected media has made bullying a stressful, debilitating 24-7 assault,” Senator Ball said. “While we cannot protect our children from all of the worlds various ills, bullying has become epidemic with tragedies that truly could have been prevented. Every kid should be able to enjoy an education free of harassment and intimidation. This legislation makes such a hope a priority and raises the overall level of awareness, allowing kids grow into kind, strong adults.”
The law is intended to prevent harassment and discrimination based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex.
The act requires that public schools: incorporate sensitivity and diversity curricula into lesson plans on civics and citizenship; implement sensitivity and tolerance training sessions open to all staff; assign one employee, who will undergo extensive training, to be the school’s designated contact for handling and responding to instances of bullying; draft plain-language versions of the law into student codes of conduct; and report instances of bullying to the New York State Education Department for evaluation.
The act takes effect on July 1, 2012. As of now, a specially assigned task force is developing model programs for schools to tailor to each of their own needs.
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Brittany Oat: (845) 200-9716.