The Dignity for All Students Act first took effect in July 2012. Its purpose is to build positive school climate by reducing the incidence of discrimination, harassment, and bullying in schools. Prohibitions against cyber-bullying were added to the law in July 2013.
Requirements of the law include:
Yearly staff training in issues related to creating a positive school climate, including annual updates to the Code of Conduct that are written in plain language. Staff training will include all school employees.
Overview of the Dignity for All Students Act to the student body in an assembly (either whole school or classroom)
A board-approved and publicized Dignity Act Coordinator (DAC) who will investigate any allegations that students, parents, or staff report within the specificed timelines (including a substitute DAC where needed).
Instruction in areas related to the Dignity Act throughout the curriculum (e.g., conflict mediation, communication skills, empathy building, character education, etc.)
Reporting tool to gather information to be submitted to the NYS Education Department annually, including cyberbullying issues (added in July 2013)
Educating the Whole Child Engaging the Whole School: Guidelines and resources for Social and Emotional Development and Learning (SEDL) in New York State Part IV SEDL in Action: What SEDL Practice in Schools and Communities Looks Like offers many examples of programs implemented to focus on topics related to a safe school environment free of discrimination and harassment. www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/sedl/SEDLinAction.pdf
This NYSED page offers information that will help you choose science based programs aligned with the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFCSA), links for anti-bullying, and positive school environment resources. http://www.p12.nysed.gov/sss/ssae/schoolsafety/sdfsca/ . Copy and paste website to view.
Kidscape - Tips for children, parents, educators about how to recognize, prevent, and intervene to stop bullying. Lots of free downloads. Click on Advice and then select category. www.kidscape.org.uk
Kids Health - Type "bullying" into search window. User can elect to hear the articles while viewing the words. Spanish versions also can be selected. www.kidshealth.org
National Crime Prevention Center - Type: "bullying" into Topics for Crime. Offers interactive clips for children to try out solutions to bullying situations and get feedback from McGruff the dog. Site provides numerous links to articles about bullying, effects of bullying and successful programs. www.ncpc.org
NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) this one is aimed at younger children. www.netsmartzkids.org/
NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) in partnership with Sprint. Materials for 'tweens, teens and educators on safe internet use including videos, games, on-line comics, and teaching materials for educatiors to use. Topics coverd; Basic internet safety, chat rooms, e-mail, INM, gaming, predators, revealing too much personal information and cyberbullying. English and Spanish. www.nsteens.org/
Safe Child Coalition - Tips for identifying bullying behavior and what to do if your child is a bully or a victim and bully prevention programs. Site is printed information for free and videos for purchase. www.safechild.org
Stop Bullying .gov - Resources for kids, teens, young adults, parents and community. Includes webinars for kids and adults, powerpoints, toolkits information for community work. Information for LGBT youth. www.stopbullying.gov/
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Website - Type "bullying" into search window of home page for hundreds of articles on the topic. www.uncg.edu
American Library Association (ALA) The type in search window "bibliography for gay teens." Click on ”Outreach Resources for Services to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People." Two options will be revealed: a bibliography for gay teens list and a link to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) if you select this choice there is a menu on the left and one is the Stonewall Book Award "The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table." There you will find the annual list of book award winners in all categories including the Stonewall Honor www.ala.org
Community Resource Best Practices of Youth Violence Prevention: A Sourcebook for Community Action is the first of its kind to look at the effectiveness of specific violence prevention practices in four key areas: parents and families; home visiting; social and conflict resolution skills; and mentoring. www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/YV_bestpractices.html
VANDERGRIFT'S CHILDREN'S LITERATURE PAGE (A Rutgers site): Literature in the Lives of Today's Children. On the left hand side of the page are many links to literature of various cultures and subgroups (Native American, Islamic Traditions and Muslim Cultures, Asian-Americans, Female Voices, Sensitive Issues, and many others. comminfo.rutgers.edu/professional-evelopment/childlit/ChildrenLit/index.html
Welcoming Schools is a website developed by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that offers lessons plans and many other resources for educators for addressing all kinds of diversity in families. Includes bibliographies, kits, and DVD's available at a low cost or free. www.welcomingschools.org/
Advocates for Youth - Resources for sex education advice for parents and educators of children of all ages Resources for youth who are LGBTQ, African American, Latin American, general population related to sex education, reproductive health, and contraception and advocacy education. Click on bulleted items (they are not in bold) to open a page of information about each bullet. English and Spanish www.advocatesforyouth.org
Council on Size and Weight Discrimination (CSWD) Working to end discrimination against people who are heavier than average. Includes bibliographies and statistics on the impact of weight discrimination. www.cswd.org/docs/discrimination.html
Jigsaw Classroom links to resources page classroom teachers. "The jigsaw classroom is a cooperative learning technique with a three-decade track record of successfully reducing racial conflict and increasing positive educational outcomes." Provides links at "Links on Cooperative Learning and School Violence" to numerous resources for teaching cooperatively with justice and equality and acceptance. www.jigsaw.org/links.htm
School Organization and Curriculum Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools, This Web site is an illustration of standards developed by Alaska Native educators to provide a way for schools and communities to examine the extent to which they are attending to the educational and cultural well-being of the students. These "cultural standards" provide guidelines or touchstones against which schools and Teachers can access many free lesson plans written by teachers for elementary, middle, and high school by subject and topic. A few samples are of the young people they are responsible for nurturing to adulthood. www.ankn.uaf.edu/standards/standards.html
Welcoming Schools includes a guide and an evaluation survey of school climate for k-5 schools; activities for teachers, role definitions for administrators and librarians; bibliography of books for children and additional resources for educators. Learning activities address family diversity, gender stereotyping, and bullying. www.welcomingschools.org
Curriculum resources for teachers from the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, supported by the Highmark Foundation www.SafeSchools.info
Welcoming Schools is a website developed by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that offers lessons plans and many other resources for educators for addressing all kinds of diversity in families. Includes bibliographies, kits, and DVD's available at a low cost or free. http://www.welcomingschools.org/
Sample Lesson Plans and Webquests Developed by Teachers
Anti-bullying. A Webquest developed for the tenth grade on anti-bullying.
Cumberland County AVA Center - Their site hosts several lesson plans and webquests on bullying and school violence. The evaluation of the lessons is completed by the AVA staff based on the amount of information provided and their estimate of its potential use in the classroom www.cumbavac.org
In Time This site offers under the curriculum tab example units on tolerance and cultural diversity. Many use literature such as fairytales and content areas to discuss bullying, character education and citizenship. www.intime.uni.edu
The Ed Change Project is a site that provides many awareness activities on respect, multicultural issues, prejudice, gender equity, etc. It also offers assessments, quotes, speeches and other related documents that may be used in lessons, teacher resources, and additional links. www.edchange.org
The Morningside Center for Social Responsibility is a program used by some NYC schools. It sponsors a project which offers activities by topic for elementary, middle and high school. www.teachablemoment.org/about.html A few samples are:
Operation Respect is a program developed by Peter Yarrow and is used by some of the NYC schools. It featuring the Don’t Laugh at Me program and song. There is a 2 – 5 teacher’s guide and a 6-8 teacher’s guide, a after school program and summer program. There is also a conflict resolution curriculum developed by Resolving Conflict Creatively (RCCP) of Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR). a href="http://www.operationrespect.org/">Http://www.operationrespect.org
Reading is Fundamental sponsored Teaching Tolerance for Children Includes a set of story samplers for K-3. This a thematic approach to stories about bias, diversity and making good choices. www.ccsf.edu/Resources/Tolerance/
The Tolerance Project, a collaborative web resource for learning and teaching how to understand, create and nurture, and find tolerance.
Olweus Bully Prevention Program - STOP BULLYING IN SCHOOLS! OCM BOCES has developed a program delivered by highly experienced nationally certified trainers who are dedicated to the prevention of bullying in schools. They use proactive efforts to create a better learning environment for students. Click HERE to view the OCM BOCES School Informational Brochure detailing our efforts to stop bullying in schools.
Rachel’s Challenge - A school-based program that uses the life of Rachel Scott, the first person killed at Columbine High School in 1999, as the inspiration for changing student lives and school climate. The assembly program uses video/audio footage of Rachel’s life and the Columbine tragedy to motivate positive change in the ways students treat each other. This is followed by a separate interactive 90-minute training session involving adults and student leaders that shows how to sustain the momentum created by the assembly. In the evening a Rachel’s Challenge speaker conducts a session with parents and community leaders and asks them to reinforce the positive decisions their teens are making. Info: 1-877-895-7060 or visit www.rachelschallenge.org.
Safe School Ambassadors (SSA) - A research-based program that is student-centered and focuses on changing social norms for students in grades 4-12. The program emphasizes bullying and violence prevention. SSA identifies and selects student leaders from diverse groups on campus and forms them into a team of SSA who are trained and willing to intervene to prevent or stop mistreatment of students when they see it. Info: contact Community Matters at (707) 823-6159 or www.community-matters.org.
Building Assets - Reducing Risks (BARR) is a research-based school-based prevention program designed to decrease the incidence of substance abuse, academic failure, truancy, and other disciplinary incidents among high school students. The curriculum consists of 33 sequential, 30-minute group activities delivered weekly throughout the school year by teachers and/or school staff. There are 10 general content areas, including bullying. Schools that implemented BARR showed a decline in bullying by boys compared to a comparison group that did not receive the intervention. School connectedness also increased after the intervention. Info: call or email Phil Rose at (800) 888-7828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bully Free - Program developed by A.L. Beene, PhD.
Stopbullying.gov is an official US Government website managed by the Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the Department of Education and the Department of Justice.
www.antibullying.net/ - a site for studnets, parents and teahcers with excellent information on bullying. The Young People section has several characters who "discuss" bullying. The School Staff section has information sheets and a reading list.
www.cybersnitch.net/schoolviolencewatch.htm - The School Violence Watch Network. - "A free comprehensive web based communication system and information exchange repository that was created to assist school administrators, teachers and law enforcement officials to quickly and efficiently deal with threats and rumors of violence, bullying, or drug abuse occurring within schools. This system can potentially reduce or prevent all violent activities that threaten students and educators worldwide."
www.dontlaugh.org/ - Operation Respect - Don't Laugh At Me - "Operation Respect is a non-profit organization working to transform schools, camps and organizations focused on children and youth, into more compassionate, safe and respectful environments....To this end, Operation Respect developed the Don't Laugh at Me (DLAM) programs, one for grades 2-5, another for grades 6-8 and a third for summer camps and afer-school programs. All of these programs utilize inspiring music and video along with curriculum guides based on the well-tested, highly regarded conflict resolution curricula developed by the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP) of Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR)." These materials can be ordered free of charge by teachers and others.