DASA /ESSA /SSEC
Dignity for All Students Act
New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.
If you need to file a DASA Report please see the School Counselor or Principal .
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS REGARDING REPORTING OF SCHOOL SAFETY AND EDUCATIONAL CLIMATE (SSEC) DATA
The following guidance is to improve the completeness and accuracy of reporting on the school, district, and BOCES SSEC Summary Data Collection Form which is part of the New York State Education Department’s implementation of Violent or Disruptive Incident Reporting (VADIR) and incidents related to Dignity for All Students Act (DASA).
1. What is a reportable incident?
Incidents in the 9 categories listed below that occur on school property or during a school-sponsored function off grounds are reportable in all circumstances, whether the offender is known or unknown. Incidents should be thoroughly investigated. Incident reporting forms and investigation materials should be retained at the school/district in which the incident occurred until the youngest person involved reaches the age of 27.
2. Sexual Offenses
2a. Forcible Sex Offenses
2b. Other Sex Offenses
3a. Physical Injury
3b. Serious Physical Injury
4. Weapons Possession
4a. Routine Security Check
5. Material Incidents of Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying
5a. All Excluding Cyberbullying
6. Bomb Threat
7. False Alarm
8. Use, Possession or Sale of Drugs
9. Use, Possession or Sale of Alcohol
2. Which schools report SSEC data to the Department?
Public schools and districts, charter schools and BOCES must report SSEC data. Nonpublic schools, including NYS approved private placement 853 schools, State-Supported 4201 schools, and State-Operated schools are not required to report. (Chapter 853 of the Laws of 1976, Section 4201, Article 87, and Article 88 of Education Law)
3. Which incidents do districts report?
A district SSEC report includes incidents involving students from different schools (different BEDS codes) that occur in shared spaces, and therefore cannot be attributed to any individual school within the district. In addition, it is not the total count of incidents from all schools in the district. Incidents are always reported on the SSEC form of the school or district in which the incident occurred.
4. Who is responsible for reporting an incident occurring at a school function (high school athletic events, concerts, field trips, etc.) that is off-school property?
The reporting of incidents occurring during school functions off school grounds depends on several factors.
If there is an event at another school, the host school must report all violent incidents and/or infractions of DASA on the host school’s SSEC form.
If the sponsored event occurs at a neutral site (college campus, public park, museum, etc.) involving students from one school, then the incident(s) would be reported by the school where the students are enrolled.
If the sponsored event occurs at a neutral site and students from different schools (different BEDS codes) are offenders, the incident would be reported on the district SSEC forms of each district in which an offender is enrolled.
5. Can a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request be made for SSEC information?
Yes. FOIL requests may be made, however personally-identifiable information is confidential, protected from disclosure, and will be redacted.
6. Are incidents that occur on school buses reportable?
Yes. Incidents that occur on school buses are reportable. The following are examples:
If an incident occurs among students from one school (one BEDS code) riding a bus together, it is reported on the school’s SSEC report.
If an incident occurs among students from two different schools (two different BEDS codes) riding a bus together, it is reported on the district’s SSEC report.
If an incident occurs among students riding a bus that is operated by BOCES, then it is reported on the BOCES’ SSEC report.
Under New York State law, a school/district is responsible for protecting the safety of students while they are being transported on a school bus.
7. Is a school bus stop regarded as school property for reporting violent incidents or infractions of DASA?
No. A school bus stop is not considered school property for SSEC reporting purposes. (Education Law §2801 and 8 NYCRR §100.2[gg][ii])
8. Is an incident reportable if it was committed on school property by a non-enrolled student?
Yes. Incident categories 1-9, that occur on school property or during a school-sponsored event off grounds by a non-enrolled student, non-staff member, and/or unknown person are reportable in all circumstances under the row of “other offender.”
9. Is an incident that occurs on school property reportable if it occurs during summer months, or some other time when school is not in session, including evenings or weekends?
Yes. Incident categories 1-9, that occur on school property during the school year (July 1st through June 30th), including summer months and when summer school is in session, are reportable in all circumstances. Incidents that occur during the evenings and/or weekends when school is not in session should be reported to the school and investigated.
10. Should incidents be reported that occur off school property that adversely affect the educational process, interfere with a student’s educational performance, or endanger the mental, emotional health, physical safety, or well-being of the students in the educational system?
Yes, if the incident occurs during a school sponsored event off grounds; or starts at a bus stop and then continues onto the bus. In addition, cyberbullying that occurs between students while not on school property must also be reported. The Dignity for All Students Act requires that schools report all verified incidents that occur off school property and create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment. (Ed Law Article 2 (11)(7)(d))
11. Are incidents involving discrimination, harassment, or bullying behavior that did not result in a disciplinary action reported?
All verified incidents of discrimination, harassment, and bullying must be reported regardless of disciplinary action(s) or referral(s).
12. What is a material incident?
It is a verified single incident or a series of related verified incidents, where a student has been subjected to discrimination, harassment, and/or bullying by a student and/or employee on school property or at a school function. An incident can be material even if the perpetrator cannot be ascertained. Memo RE: Dignity for All Students Act: Results of Statewide School District Survey and Guidance on Implementation.
13. What does a verified incident mean?
According to CR §100.2 (kk) incidents of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination are verified via a thorough investigation. Verified means that the school/district has investigated the incident and found the report to be true.
14. Is there a form for parents or students to report incidents to school staff?
Forms are available on the school district website under the SSEC tab.