Dignity Act

What is the Dignity for All Students Act?

The Dignity for All Students Act went into effect on July 1, 2012. The act is meant to provide all public and charter school elementary and secondary students with a safe and supportive environment on school property and at school-sponsored activities and events. The Dignity Act prevents all students from being harassed, bullied, or made to feel unsafe by any member of the school community based on their actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex. The Fayetteville-Manlius School District is taking steps to ensure that all our students, faculty, and staff are aware of this new law.

Preventing Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying Requires a Community Effort

Wellwood, along with the entire Fayetteville-Manlius School District community, is committed to providing an educational and working environment that promotes dignity and equality for all students and staff. We recognize that issues of discrimination, harassment, and bullying extend beyond the school property and encourage the support of parents and communities in helping to promote and maintain a positive environment for all our children. The intent of this webpage is to provide information and resources to support this community approach.

Any individuals who are being harassed/bullied, or who witness harassment/bullying, should report the incidents. Students are encouraged to report such incidents to a teacher, counselor, administrator or other trusted adult at the school. Each school building also has a designated Dignity Act Coordinator. At Wellwood, Assistant Principal Warren Smith is the Dignity Act Coordinator. Mr. Smith will conduct an investigation of any allegations of harassment and bullying.  He can be reached at 315-692-1300. An anonymous online reporting tool, the Bully Button, is also available on the district website. 

What are we doing at Wellwood to Provide a Safe and Supportive Environment for ALL Students?

Below are some highlights of the steps we are taking at Wellwood to maintain a positive and inclusive environment.

·         ALL employees (teachers, administrators, teaching assistants, teacher aides, nurses, counselors, psychologists, related service providers, audio-visual staff, custodians, bus drivers and cafeteria staff) received training at the beginning of the school year about the Dignity Act and its requirements. This training will be conducted annually.

·         Students received an annual training and summary sheet outlining the Dignity Act. This information is required to be presented in age-appropriate language. This year, all students received training during physical education class, using a presentation that is available for viewing at the bottom of this page. In addition, during opening day assemblies, school administrators reviewed key components of the Act and the District Code of Conduct

·         One of the major elements of the Dignity Act is to be proactive and promote a safe environment by educating students rather than simply assigning consequences. Educational Programming examples at Wellwood include:

o   Encouraging students to be an upstander and not simply a bystander

o   Teachers address inappropriate behavior immediately, educate the involved students why the behavior is inappropriate, and notify the main office

o   Classroom guidance activities organized by the counselors

o   Promoting a positive school climate through character education and Project: Pass It On

o   Individual meetings with counselors and the school psychologist

o   Social skills and friendship lunch groups, that also focus on bullying behavior

o   Utilizing the district School Information Resource Office, Damien Golden

·         If issues of discrimination, harassment, and/or bullying do arise, consequences will be administered in accordance with the district code of conduct, which can be accessed at the bottom of the page.

·         As part of the annual training, students are made aware that consequences can be administered in school within the guidelines of the District Code of Conduct for the “creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being;…”

·         A Bully Button is available on the district webpage for individuals to report occurrences of bullying, anonymously if s/he wishes. The completed form is then forwarded on to Principal Melissa Corbin and Assistant Principal Warren Smith, Dignity Act Coordinator.

If you desire additional information about the Dignity Act, please call Warren Smith, Dignity Act Coordinator, at 315-692-1300 or refer to the resources provided below.

 


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