THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK (USA) "DIGNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS" ACT AND EVIDENCED BASED PROGRAMMING IN ASSURING RIGHTS FOR STUDENTS

L. Tribuzio

Mercy College (UNITED STATES)
In the United States in recent years, there have been a number of cases of bullying based on student "race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation and gender." [1] The state of New York passed the "Dignity for all Students" Act effective July 1, 2012, to ensure that school environments are "free from discrimination and harassment." [1] The Act mandates that school professionals complete training to address discrimination when it happens in schools. An amendment, effective July 1, 2013 includes a focus on the prevention of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is defined as "harassment or bullying by any form of electronic communication." [1]

This paper outlines events and incidents that led to the passing of the Act and the steps that are being taken in New York City schools to train professionals in evidenced based methods designed to educate and support youth who are impacted by discrimination. Various non-profit anti-bullying programs are highlighted. Some of these include the teacher and parent training program at the South Bronx's St. Ann's Summer Freedom School, and the teacher training programs at Fordham University and Mercy College. Other non profit anti bullying programs for students in the South Bronx, New York will be spotlighted.

References:
[1] New york dignity act brochure. (2013) Retrieved December 5, 2013, from http://www.p12.nysed.gov/dignityact/documents/DignityActBrochureUpdateFinal.pdf