Dignity for All Students Act
On June 18, 2012, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed the “Dignity for All Students Act.” In keeping with the law, we have updated the definitions for ‘harassment’ and ‘bullying,’ including cyberbullying, in our Intermediate School handbooks. More detailed language on the “Dignity for All Students Act” can be found in The Homer Code of Conduct Manual on our district webpage. You can also request a copy of this at our building’s main office.
The significant changes included in the update are an updated definition of harassment, contained in Education Law 11 (7). The new definition is for “harassment” and “bullying,” and specifies that it applies to cyberbullying. The new definition maintains, with slight modifications, language about “the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or threats, intimidation or abuse” which (a) has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s education performance, opportunities or well-being; or (b) reasonable causes or would reasonable be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety. The definition also adds two new categories which prohibit similar conduct that “9c) reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or emotional harm to a student” or “(d) occurs off school property and creates or would foreseeabley create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property.” The amendment also adds Education Law 11 (8) which defines cyberbullying to include all behaviors described in Education Law 11 (7) (a)-(d), “where the harassment or bullying occurs through any form of electronic communication.”
PRIVACY: The Homer Central School District respects every student’s right to privacy as well as their right to access and use the District’s facilities in a manner consistent with their gender identity. While the District will make arrangements for students to use the bathrooms and changing facilities of the gender with which they identify, the District also provides private spaces in the form of gender neutral facilities in single stall bathrooms for changing for any student desiring privacy or for any other permissible reason.