Board of Regents Acts to Amend Dignity for All Students Act Regulations
Regulation Changes Include Examples of Types of Incidents to Be Reported
Public Comments Accepted May 23 Through July 23
The Board of Regents today acted to amend the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) regulations to include examples of types of incidents of harassment, bullying or discrimination to be reported and investigated as possible violations of DASA. The amendment is intended to provide further clarification to school administrators, employees and students on the types of incidents of harassment, bullying and discrimination to be reported to administrators and investigated by the school Dignity Act Coordinator.
“School administrators, educators and staff work day in and day out to ensure all children feel welcome and included at school,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “While the federal government is repealing the rights of our transgender students, New York will not waver in its commitment to protect transgender – and all – students from bullying, harassment and discrimination. We hope school leaders will use these examples to help illustrate for all school employees the types of unacceptable incidents that must be reported and investigated.”
“Schools should be safe havens for all students, where they have opportunities to thrive in an environment free of bullying, harassment and discrimination,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “With this regulation change, we are continuing to provide support to district administrators and school staff as they work to create a positive school culture and climate in which students feel safe, supported and fully included.”
“I applaud the Board of Regents for adopting this regulation, and Commissioner Elia for proposing it,” said New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. “At a time when the federal Department of Education has abdicated its most basic responsibility to protect all students, leaving transgender students to fend for themselves, New York continues to make clear that we have zero tolerance for discrimination. This emergency regulation sends a clear message to districts throughout New York that denying a student access to facilities based on gender identity, or mis-gendering a student, can amount to a reportable incident of discrimination under the Dignity for All Students Act. The regulation’s commonsense approach is a reminder to all districts of what DASA requires of them: provide equal educational access to all students — including transgender and gender nonconforming students — free of discrimination, harassment, and bullying.”
New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act expressly prohibits bullying, discrimination, and harassment, on school property or at a school function, on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (which includes gender identity and/or expression), or sex.
Read the full SED press release here.