The Dignity for All Students Act
New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.
The Dignity Act was signed into law on September 13, 2010 and took effect on July 1, 2012. Amendments to the act are effective as of July 1, 2013 and are noted below under ***DIGNITY ACT NEWS***.
The original legislation amended State Education Law by creating a new Article 2 – Dignity for All Students. The Dignity Act also amended Section 801-a of New York State Education Law regarding instruction in civility, citizenship, and character education by expanding the concepts of tolerance, respect for others and dignity to include: an awareness and sensitivity in the relations of people, including but not limited to, different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, gender identity, and sexes. The Dignity Act further amended Section 2801 of the Education Law by requiring Boards of Education to include language addressing The Dignity Act in their codes of conduct.
Additionally, under the Dignity Act, schools will be responsible for collecting and reporting data regarding material incidents of discrimination and harassment.
- Dear Colleagues Letter From Commissioner Elia Regarding U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Joint Guidance to School Districts Regarding Transgender Students (275 KB) - (5/25/16)
- Guidance to School Districts for Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment For Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students (132 KB) (7/20/15)
- Dignity Act Reporting Form: The annual report, titled "Report of Incidents Concerning School Safety and the Educational Climate," (<1MB) will be submitted via the NYSED on-line portal and has been developed as follows: Part 1, (VADIR) is the report of violent and disruptive incidents. Part 2, (Dignity Act) is the report of material incidents of discrimination and/or harassment. The annual report for the 2013-14 school year will be due to the State Education Department following the conclusion of the 2013-14 school year. Please note that cyberbullying will be included as a separate reporting category beginning with the 2013-14 school year. (4/15/14)
- The Updated Resource and Promising Practices Guide for School Administrators & Faculty is Available!: View in browser or download the PDF (1.4 MB) (Updated 5/10/16)
- Guidance for Local Implementation (<1MB) to assist schools, districts and BOCES in local implementation of the Dignity Act. (9/13/13)
- Guidance for Updating Codes of Conduct (<1MB) to assist schools, districts and BOCES in updating their Codes of Conduct in accordance with the amended Dignity Act. (6/17/13)
- Updated Dignity Act Brochure (<1MB) now available. (6/14/13)
- Information regarding Coursework or Training in Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination Prevention and Intervention is available on The Office of Teaching Initiatives page at: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/news/newsitem05162013.html (5/21/13)
- Amendment of Section 100.2(jj) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Dignity Act Coordinator and School Employee Training programs, to implement the Dignity for All Students Act (5/21/13)
- Amendment of sections 100.2(c), 100.2(l) & 119.6, and 100.2(kk) of the Commissioner's Regulations, Relating to the Dignity for All Students Act (4/23/13)
- Dignity Act Reporting Guidance Webinar (13 minutes, 207 MB) View pdf with script (<1MB) (9/28/12)