SSS

Student Support Services

Questions and Answers Regarding SSEC Reporting

The following guidance is to improve the completeness and accuracy of reporting on the school, district, and BOCES SSEC Summary Data Collection Forms which are part of New York State Education Department’s implementation of Violent or Disruptive Incident Reporting(1) (VADIR) and incidents related to Dignity for All Students Act(2) (DASA).  

1. What is a reportable incident?

Incidents in categories 1-9, that occur on school property or during a school-sponsored function off grounds are reportable in all circumstances, whether the offender is known or unknown. Incidents should be thoroughly investigated. Incident reporting forms and investigation materials should be retained at the school/district in which the incident occurred until the youngest person involved reaches the age of 27.

2. How can SSEC forms, glossary, and directions be accessed?

SSEC forms and other related documents can be accessed by clicking:

3. When are incidents reported to the New York State Education Department (NYSED)?

The reporting of incidents must be sent to NYSED annually by a date announced by the Commissioner of Education. Important dates of submission can be accessed by clicking: Data Collection

4. Which schools do not have to use the SSEC reporting system?

Private schools, NYS approved private 853 schools, and State-Supported 4201 schools, and other State-Operated schools do not have to report.(3)

5. How can data detailing the number of incidents relating to SSEC reported to NYSED for specified school years be accessed?

Data can be accessed by clicking Data Reporting

6. What incidents are reported on the district SSEC form?

The district SSEC report should indicate incidents involving students from different schools (different BEDS codes) that occur in shared spaces, and therefore cannot be attributed to any individual school or BOCES operating within the district. In addition, it is not the total counts of incidents from all schools in the district. Incidents are always reported on the SSEC form of the school or district in which the incident occurred.

7. If summer school is being hosted on school property but operated by BOCES (hiring of staff, supervision, etc.), and attending students from different schools are involved in a reportable incident, who reports it?

If BOCES is operating a program with students from different schools, then any incident would be reported on the BOCES SSEC form.

8. Who is responsible for reporting an incident occurring at school functions (high school athletic events, concerts, field trips, etc.) that are off-school property?

The reporting of incidents occurring during school functions off school grounds depends on several factors.

A) If there is an event at another school, the host school must report all violent incidents and/or infractions of DASA on the host school’s SSEC form.

B) If the sponsored event occurs at a neutral site (college campus, public park, museum, etc.), then the incident(s) would be reported by the school that has the enrolled student offender(s).

C) If the sponsored event occurs at a neutral site and students from different schools (different BEDS codes) are offenders, the incident would be reported on the district SSEC forms of each district in which an offender is enrolled.

9. If a middle school and high school share the same building, but have separate BEDS codes, which school would report an incident involving students from both schools?

A) If an incident occurred in a space shared by both schools (cafeteria, library, gym, etc.), the incident would be reported on the district SSEC form.

B) If an incident occurred because a student from one school was involved in an incident in the other school building, the school where the incident occurred would report the incident.

C) If an incident occurred in a space shared by both schools, but the students involved in the incident are from the same school, then the school in which the students are attending would report the incident on the school SSEC form.

10. How can incident report forms (for violent incidents and/or infractions of DASA) be readily available?

Forms should be easily accessible to parents and students at the school/district as well as on the school/district website.(4) An incident report may be submitted in person, electronically, or anonymously. When an incident report is made orally, school personnel must file a written report within the next two school days.

11. How long must a school retain SSEC related documents?

SSEC related documents include, but are not limited to, all reports of violent incidents and infractions of DASA, IIR’s, copies of SSEC Summary Data Collection reports submitted to NYSED, action plans to eliminate unsafe and/or hostile environment, and investigative notes. These documents must be maintained at the school/district until the youngest person involved in the incident is 27 years old(5) and should NOT be sent to the next school/district nor sent to NYSED.  The IIR is NOT part of the student educational record and therefore should NOT be kept in the student’s cumulative folder; but kept in a separate location or filing system. Please note: Even if an investigation fails to provide sufficient information to ascertain whether an incident is verified (material), these documents must be retained by the school/district in which the incident occurred.

12. Can a school continue using a database already in place to collect information concerning violent and disruptive incidents?

Yes, if the database includes all the categories and data elements needed to complete the SSEC Summary Data Collection Form. If a school is changing management systems, old student records must be archived.

13. Should the data on victims and offenders be kept confidential?

Personally-identifiable information on all students must be kept confidential, kept at the school or district building in which the incident occurred, and available upon requests by NYSED and/or auditors. Confidentiality also includes when reporting and/or discussing incidents to appropriate staff and persons in parental relationships. This would also apply to the information released by the school/district personnel regarding a plan to address the hostile environment and end the bullying. Appropriate staff and persons in parental relationship of both the target and the offender should be contacted about the plan, in accordance with district policies (and applicable state and federal laws and regulations) concerning student confidentiality and privacy.

14. Can a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law)(6) request be made for SSEC information?

Yes. FOIL requests may be made, however personally-identifiable information is confidential, protected from disclosure, and should be redacted.

15. Can an IIR be updated if it is later determined that the incident described in the report was more or less serious than originally reported?

Yes, the IIR’s can be updated to provide a clear audit trail indicating the reasons for any additional information. Any evidence that supports the decision to update the IIR should be attached to the original form.

16. Are incidents that occur on school buses reportable?

Yes. Incidents that occur on school buses are reportable. The following are examples:

A) If an incident occurs among students from one school (one BEDS code) riding a bus together, it is reported on the school’s SSEC report.

B) If an incident occurs among students from two different schools (two different BEDS codes) riding a bus together, it is reported on the district’s SSEC report.

C) If an incident occurs among students riding a bus that is operated by BOCES, then it is reported on the BOCES’ SSEC report.

Under New York State law, a school/district is responsible for protecting the safety of students while they are being transported on a school bus.

17. Are incidents reportable when they occur on a district school bus transporting a district student residing in the district even if the student is not attending a school within the district? 

Yes. The school district must report this incident if it operated the school bus or provided the school bus through a third-party contract. The incident should be reported on the district SSEC form. Note: there are no automatic exclusions of incidents where the offender is a student with disabilities.

18. Is a school bus stop regarded as school property for reporting violent incidents or infractions of DASA?

No. A school bus stop is not considered school property for SSEC reporting purposes.(7) Children at the bus stop are still the responsibility of the parents/family.

19. Is an incident reportable if it was committed on school property by a non-enrolled student?

Yes. Incidents in categories 1-9, that occur on school property or during a school-sponsored event off grounds by a non-enrolled student, non-staff member, and/or unknown person are reportable in all circumstances under the row of “other offender”.

20. Is an incident that occurs on school property reportable if it occurs during summer months, or some other time when school is not in session, including evenings or weekends?

Yes. Incidents in categories 1-9, that occur on school property during the school year including summer months (July 1st through June 30th), and when summer school is in session are reportable in all circumstances. Incidents that occur during the evenings and/or weekends when school is not in session should be reported to the school and investigated.

21. Should incidents be reported that occur off school property that adversely affect the educational process, interfere with a student’s educational performance, or endanger the mental, emotional health, physical safety, or well-being of the students in the educational system?

Yes. If the incident occurs during a school sponsored event off grounds; or at a bus stop and continues into the bus; such an incident may include cyberbullying. The Dignity for All Students Act requires that schools report all verified incidents that occur off school property and create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment.(8)

22.  Are all suspensions reported?

For purposes of SSEC reporting, only suspensions related to categories 1-9 and Part 5 are reported.  

23. If school A is not open due to repairs or reconstruction, but is providing educational services in another district’s building, school B which is not providing educational services at the time, which school will report?

School A would report all incidents that occur under its supervision.

24. When are schools required to report weapons possession to law enforcement?

It is mandatory to report to law enforcement when a student is in possession of a firearm. In addition, a school/district should also contact law enforcement when harassment, behavior, or discriminatory behavior is believed to constitute criminal conduct (per agreement with local authorities).

25. When are incidents involving the use, sale, and possession of drugs or alcohol reported?

The use, possession, and sale of e-cigarettes, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, and vapers are prohibited on school property and disciplinary actions should be addressed in the district’s code of conduct. These incidents are reported under category 8 and/or 9. Tobacco, vapers, and e-cigarettes are reported under category 8.

26. Are incidents involving discrimination, harassment, or bullying behavior that did not result in a disciplinary action reported?

All verified incidents of discrimination, harassment, and bullying must be reported regardless of disciplinary action(s) or referral(s) taken.

27. A group of students attacks student A causing bruises. In the process of defending himself, student A causes serious physical injury (broken tooth) to one of his attackers (student B). For reporting purposes, must the action of student A be reported as assault with serious physical injury? If so, is student B listed as the victim and student A who engaged in self-defense listed as the offender?

If an altercation involves more than one category, it must be reported in the category that captures the most violent offense (highest weight). Thus, student A would be considered the offender since he caused serious physical injury (category 3b) and student B is the victim.

28. When are schools/districts required to provide the safe public school choice option?

A) When a student is attending a school that is designated as a Persistently Dangerous school by NYSED.

B) When a student is a victim of any other offense defined in Penal Law that involves the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon.(9)

29. If a charter school is located, or co-located, in space within a district school building, what part(s) of the building would the charter school consider as its "school grounds" for SSEC reporting purposes?

The charter school must report all incidents that occur in parts of the building under the charter school's control. The charter school must also report incidents that occur on school buses that the charter school operates or provides by contract with an entity other than the school district. If the charter school has staff supervising students in the halls for example in transit to school buses, those areas are considered under the charter school's control during such periods of time. The school district which owns or controls the space in which the charter school is located, or co-located, must report all incidents that occur between students from both schools (different BEDS codes) in common areas, on school grounds, or on school buses that the district operates or provides by contract with an entity other than the school district.

30. If a charter school is housed within a building controlled or owned by a private, or corporate, entity what parts of the building are considered "school property" for SSEC reporting purposes?

Any part of the building controlled or owned by a private, or corporate, entity that is under the charter school's control would be considered "school property" for reporting purposes. The charter school must report all incidents that occur in the parts of the building that are under its control and all incidents that occur in areas of the building that the charter school staff or students have access to under the terms of the lease.

31. Two students brandishing knives have a fight in a school building resulting in one student inflicting serious physical injury on the other. How should this be reported?

This would be reported under category 3b and in row q2, with one offender and one victim. 

32. How should an incident be reported when a student is found to be in possession of five knives?

The incident must be reported as one incident under category 4 and the five knives are noted in row q2. There is no length of blade requirement.

33. A student is found to possess drugs and the investigation process reveals a firearm in her locker, how is it reported?

The incident would be reported under the category of the most egregious offense, which in this case is category 4b and noted in Part 5, row s, and row q1.

34. If a student possessed both drugs and alcohol, in what category would it be reported?

Mark either categories 8 and 9 since both are non-weighted; one is not more egregious than the other.

35. Is a mental health arrest (police remove or escort a student from school for his/her safety to the hospital) considered a school-related arrest?

If the student is being pressed with any charges, then it is reported under school-related arrests. Criminal charges are not usually filed for arrests under the mental hygiene law.  

36. If a swastika was painted on an exterior wall of the school building and it seems that no student was affected by it, is it reportable?

The incident would be reported on the district SSEC form under the category of 5a with a bias towards an ethnic group, and noted “1” in rows z and ee since the number of targets/victims and offenders is unknown.  

37. If one student calls another student “stupid” repeatedly, does it have to be reported every time?

If such an incident is being reported to school personnel, it must be investigated, including separate interviews with the student target, the offender, and any witnesses. The investigation is obligated to determine whether each incident is a “single verified incident or a series of incidents of related verified incidents where a student is subjected to harassment, bullying, or discrimination…” To be successful in creating safe and healthy school climates for all students, inappropriate name calling, or “fooling around” is not acceptable.

38. One student calls another student a name that caused harm and was reported to the Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) and investigated. Through a restorative justice conference, the intent and harm were discussed and resolved between the students. Is the incident still reported to the NYSED?

The discussion during the conference further substantiated that harm was caused and the educational process was negatively affected. The original incident is still reported to NYSED regardless of a resolution between the students. The original harmful incident did occur.

39. How would a school report two students, 17 years old, who have consensual sex on school grounds?

The age of consent in New York State is 17 years old.(10)

  • If both students are 17 years old, then it is not reported;
  • If one student is 17 and the other is 13 years old, then it is reported;
  • If one student is 17 and the other is an 18-year-old non-student, then it is not reported.

40. What is a material incident?

It is a verified single incident or a series of related verified incidents, where a student has been subjected to discrimination, harassment, and/or bullying by a student and/or employee on school property or at a school function.(11) An incident can be material even if the perpetrator cannot be ascertained.

41. What does a verified incident mean?

According to CR §100.2 (kk) incidents of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination are verified through a thorough investigation. Verified means that the school/district has investigated the incident and found the report to be true.

42. Can a school use information obtained from an electronic device as part of the investigation of an incident?

If a student or parent voluntarily submits a screen shot or offers to show a school administrator the information, picture(s), or video(s), school personnel may consider the additional information. However, unless a school/district has developed a policy requiring students with electronic devices to submit to an administrator all recorded information pertaining to incidents that occur on school property or at a school function off grounds, it cannot mandate the relinquishment of such information. It is recommended to seek legal counsel first.

43. Are school related arrests counted towards the School Violence Index (SVI)(12)?

No. Parts 2-6 are reported for federal reporting requirements only.

44. Does a school report an incident if the offender is unknown?

Yes. If the offender is unknown, neither a student, nor a staff member then it would be reported under “other offender.”

45. If a student is called five different names/slurs, how would that be reported?

If all names/slurs occurred at the same time, it would be counted as one incident. If names/slurs occur across five different times, it would be counted as five separate incidents. Each slur would be noted in the appropriate rows under bias-related incidents.  


(1) Proposed Amendment of Section 100.2(gg) of the Commissioner’s Regulations, Relating to the Uniform Violent and Disruptive Incident Reporting System (VADIR)

(2) Education Law Article 2 Dignity for All Students Actexternal link icon

(3) Chapter 853 of the Laws of 1976, Section 4201, Article 87, and Article 88 of Education Law

(4) Dignity for All Students Act: Results of Statewide School District Survey and NYS Office of Attorney General and NYSED Guidance on Implementation  (Page 2)

(5) Records and Retention Disposition Schedule ED-1

(6) New York State Education Department FOIL Requests

(7) Education Law §2801[1] and 8 NYCRR §100.2[gg][1][ii]

(8) Ed Law Article 2 (11) (7) (d)

(9) Providing a Safe Public School Choice Option to Students Who Have Been Victims of a Violent Criminal Offense

(10) New York State Age of Consent Laws 2017external link icon

(11) Dignity for All Students Act: Results of Statewide School District Survey and NYS Office of Attorney General and NYSED Guidance on Implementation

(12) Criteria for Designating Persistently Dangerous Schools

Last Updated: January 10, 2018