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District Outlines Anti-Bullying Law Compliance

Presentation at Glen Cove School Board meeting explained intent, required measures of state legislation.

The Glen Cove School District is working to comply with a state law mandating action to combat bullying and harassment in public schools, the district said Monday at its Board of Education meeting.

"The district didn't have to modify its code of conduct that radically compared to some other districts," said superintendent Joseph Laria. 

Laria said the intent of the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) is to "prohibit harassment of all students by students and district personnel."

The law's five areas of regulation were listed by the district's DASA coordinator, Michael Tweed:

  1. Create school policy/revise code of conduct - completed
  2. School employee training - completed
  3. Appointment/training of a Dignity Act coordinator - completed
  4. Annual reporting of information to state
  5. Student/parent notification via the district's website, mail, evening events, open house.

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Incidents of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability, weight or other characteristics, occurring on district property or during any school event, would trigger a required response from the district.

"It's all-encompassing," Laria said.

Tweed noted a distinction between bullying and conflict -- bullying is a recurring problem different from isolated clashes between students. Regular mediation used to resolve conflict is not effective in cases of bullying because of an imbalance of power that exists between students who bully and those they torment. 

"Harassment poisons an entire school community," Tweed said.

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