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Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

The Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) was signed into law on September 13, 2010 and took effect on July 1, 2012.  The Act prohibits harassment and discrimination of students by peers and by school personnel.  In addition, amendments to the regulation (effective July 1, 2013) have added explicit references prohibiting bullying and cyber-bullying.  It covers all public elementary and secondary aged students and applies to behaviors on school property, in school buildings, on a school bus, as well as school-sponsored events or activities.  Districts will be responsible for identifying at least one employee at every school to serve as the DASA coordinator.  This individual must be thoroughly trained to “handle human relations” in the protected areas.

All schools in the District have named two Coordinators.  The Coordinators for Williamsville South High School are:  Salvatore Curella (Assistant Principal) and Chris McDuffie (Assistant Principal), who can be reached at 626-8200.  Please contact a coordinator should you have any concerns or wish to report an incident at South High School.

At South High School, we believe the best way to create a positive school environment and  prevent bullying issues is to have our students engaged and involved. Over the past six years our SDM team has spearheaded a drive to get our students involved in co-curricular activities, and last year we had 83% of our students involved in at least one. In addition, each year we have our teachers fill out an online report in which the place a check mark next to any students that they have made a “positive connection” with. Once the teachers have done this, we aggregate the data and let teachers know of any students who did not have a check next to their name, and ask them to make an effort to do so.

During October, South participates in anti-bullying week. Throughout the course of the week, information about bullying is sent via e-mail to students, parents and staff each day. We typically air three anti-bullying PSA videos during our morning announcements, and this year one of them was made by a South student. The Link Crew created hundreds of positive messages and anti-bullying messages which were posted throughout the building to remind students of our mission.

For the past five years, South has run a week-long program in the Spring dedicated to positive online communication. Last year, the focus of this week was proper use of Social Networks, and included a series of messages about cyber-bullying and positive online communications. This Spring, we will once again be having our Social Network Awareness week, with a continued focus on positive communication.