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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dignity and Respect

Our secondary level learners in grades 7-12 received information on the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) this morning in an assembly featuring an individual who has visited many area schools to inform people of the various elements embedded within the upcoming state-wide law that takes effect this July 1, 2012.

Here's a summary of DASA provided by the state department of education:

This legislation amended State Education Law by creating a new Article 2 – Dignity for All Students.  The Dignity Act also amended Section 801-a of New York State Education Law regarding instruction in civility, citizenship, and character education by expanding the concepts of tolerance, respect for others and dignity to include: an awareness and sensitivity in the relations of people, including but not limited to, different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, gender identity, and sexes. The Dignity Act further amended Section 2801 of the Education Law by requiring Boards of Education to include language addressing The Dignity Act in their codes of conduct.

Our Board of Education will be reviewing and developing policies required under this new law. Similarly, our student handbook will include guidelines and details of the law to comply with the DASA.

It's an interesting reflection on our society in general that a law has to be passed to promote people to treat others with respect and dignity. I may be an idealist, and I'm certainly too old to be naive, but whatever happened to just following the Golden Rule of treating others the same way you wish to be treated?

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