Smithtown BOE renews anti-bullying coordinators

Smithtown BOE renews anti-bullying coordinators

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Superintendent James Grossane file photo

The Dignity for All Students Act coordinators for the 2015-16 school year were renewed on Tuesday at Smithtown’s Board of Education meeting.

The Dignity Act is a New York State law that was put into effect in July 2012. It amended section 801-a of state education law regarding instruction in civility, citizenship and character education by expanding the concepts of tolerance, respect for others and dignity.

It is mostly focused on elementary and secondary school students and creates an anti-bully zone at school, school buses and all school functions.

This act is meant to raise awareness and sensitivity in human relations including different weights, race, national origins, religion, ethnic groups, mental and physical abilities, and gender and sexual identification.

This act requires all New York State boards of education to include language addressing the Dignity Act in their codes of conduct. Schools are also responsible for collecting and reporting data regarding material incidents of harassment and discrimination.

“It’s basically an anti-bullying law,” Superintendent James Grossane said after the meeting. “It’s to help with students who are feeling harassed or excluded.”

Coordinators for this act are usually the principals of every school building, according to Grossane.