2 primary girl students waiting for their bus to go home

Dignity for All Students Act

In 2010, the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo approved the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) to help ensure that schools have the tools and resources to provide all students an educational environment in which they can thrive. A statewide task force developed guidelines, with each school district developing its program for implementation on July 1, 2012.

The Canandaigua City School District, long a leader in character education, has adapted many of its existing anti-bullying and character education initiatives into its mandated DASA implementation plan.

The purpose is to ensure that all students attending Canandaigua schools are in a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying -- whether in the classroom, on school property, on a school bus and/or at a school function.

DASA Coordinators for Canandaigua schools:

John LaFave- Director of Student Support Services- 396-3739
Brian Amesbury - K-5 Coordinator: 396-3900
Peter Jensen - Middle School Coordinator: 396-3880
Eric Jordan - Academy Coordinator: 396-3803

Initial, oral reports may be made to ANY building administrator. Do Not Wait!

Character, Citizenship, and Civility Instruction:

  • At the Primary-Elementary School
    • Responsive Classroom
    • The Leader in Me
    • Solution-focused approach
  • At the Middle School
    • Character Lessons each Thursday

Reporting Form

stop bullying

The Dignity for All Students Act....

prohibits acts of harassment and bullying, including cyberbullying and/or discrimination, by employees or students on school property or at a school function, including but not limited to such conduct as those based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender (defined to include gender identity or expression) or sex (Education Law §12[1]). Cyberbullying is defined as harassment or bullying which takes place through any form of electronic communication (Education Law §11[8]).


  • Three aspects of this legislation have a direct affect on our schools:
    • Investigation of potential acts of harassment and bullying, cyberbullying, and/or discrimination, with comprehensive follow‐up.
    • Instruction for students on character education, citizenship, and civility.
    • Information sharing and reporting.

Effective 7/1/2012; Revised 7/1/2013


  • Harassment - verbal threats, intimidation, or abuse that creates a hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student's educational performance, opportunities, or well-being or reasonably causes (or would be expected to cause) a student to fear for his or her safety.
  • Bullying - unwanted and aggressive behavior stemming from a perceived or real imbalance of power and is repeated over time.


  • When a claim is made, which is also a violation of the Code of Conduct, the DAC "shall take prompt and thorough action, reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying and /or discrimination."
  • Oral reports must be within one school day, and then followed-up in writing no later than two school days after that.
  • Witnessed acts, as well as reports from others, initiate this process.

When a report is made...

  • Respond: immediately and respectfully, modeling dignity to possible victim and to the accused.
  • Research: as much information from as many as possible, with exact language from reporters.
  • Record: any attachment or artifact that supplements the research.
  • Report: DASA coordinator looks at report, Code of Conduct and definition of "material incident".
  • Revisit: follow-up with all parties to evaluate "Plan".

If a claim is substantiated:

  • Progressive discipline will be assigned, based on the Code of Conduct and administrator judgment.
  • Remediation for the offender(s):
    • Education
    • Counseling
    • Parent/Caregiver involvement
    • Police and legal action, when appropriate
  • Check in with victim(s). Insure the elimination of harassment, bullying, discrimination, or fear. Resumption of healthy school functioning.