O’Donnell Statement on Dignity for All Students Act Going into Effect

Starting today, New York’s students will be protected from bullying by a new policy, one of the most comprehensive in the country, which takes advantage of the most current research on the subject. Says O’Donnell, the prime sponsor of the bill:

As parents, educators, and former students ourselves, New Yorkers are all well aware of the great harm bullying can cause. I am proud that today schools will have new, more effective tools to curb this harmful epidemic. By discouraging discrimination and emphasizing inclusion, schools will stop harassment before it occurs and help protect both victims and bullies from lifelong damage.

O’Donnell has been collaborating with the Dignity Task Force to develop guidelines that are consistent with the legislative intent: that schools foster an inclusive culture rather than focus on punishing bullies. This technique has been proven effective by several rigorous studies. In early May, O’Donnell also worked with the Board of Regents to ensure that charter school students were included under the new curriculum provisions designed to reduce discrimination, so that every child in New York public schools would be protected.

Members of the Dignity Task Force have been holding free training sessions to acquaint educators with the new policies, and will continue to do so over the summer.

For more information, and to read the regulations themselves, visit www.p12.nysed.gov/dignityact/.