Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

Dignity for All Students Act (Effective July 2012) Amended to include cyberbullying effective July 1, 2013. Policy 7550 Dignity for All Students Act

The purpose: to address bullying, discrimination and harassment in our schools and to ensure that all students are educated in a safe and supportive school environment.

DASA: Prohibits bullying, harassment, discrimination, or cyberbullying against students in school based on the following:

Race • Color • Weight • National origin • Ethnic group • Religion • Religious practice Disability • Sexual orientation, • Gender (including gender identity and expression) • Sex

If you witness or hear about a bullying/cyberbullying incident/behavior, harassment and/or discrimination, you must report it to your building principal within 24 hours and put it in writing on the district’s DASA form within 48 hours.

DASA forms are available in the guidance offices, main offices and on our district website. Download the form

Anonymous bully boxes for students are located in the WES main office and the WJSHS guidance office and 2nd floor office suite.

DASA Action

The DASA coordinators and/or building administrators will thoroughly investigate the report in a timely manner;
A prompt action to end harassment, bullying and/or discrimination will be made;
Prohibit retaliation against anyone making a report or assisting with the investigation;
Report trends to the the superintendent;
Notify local law enforcement when behavior is believed to constitute criminal conduct.

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

An Imbalance of Power: People who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
Intent to harm

Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

There are three types of bullying plus cyberbullying:

Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:

  • Teasing
  • Name-calling
  • Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Taunting
  • Threatening to cause harm

Social bullying sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:

  • Leaving someone out on purpose
  • Telling other people not to be friends with someone
  • Spreading rumors about someone
  • Embarrassing someone in public

Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:

  • Hitting/kicking/pinching
  • Spitting
  • Tripping/pushing
  • Taking or breaking someone’s things
  • Making mean or rude hand gestures


Cyberbullying is a single or series of related bullying incidents that take place over digital devices (e.g., texting) or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content.

Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else to cause embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.

How is Cyberbullying Different from Traditional Bullying?

In Cyberbullying:

  • Targets may not know who the bully is or why they are being targeted.
  • Perpetrators can maintain anonymity, which can foster a loss of inhibition or sense of invincibility.
  • Cyberbullying can often be viewed by strangers as well as acquaintances.
  • Cyberbullying can be done from a physically distant location.
  • Cyberbullying can reach an unlimited audience versus traditional bullying incidents that are witnessed by a limited number of people.

Forms of Cyberbullying

Cyberstalking: Sending abusive messages repeatedly through the Internet or by using a mobile phone. The messages are often threatening in nature, and instill fear that the stalking might move offline and into the target’s real life, even becoming physically threatening.
Denigration: “Dissing” someone online. Sending or posting gossip or rumors about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendships.
Exclusion/Gossip Groups: Singling out and/or excluding an individual from a group. An online equivalent of relational bullying, the group then taunts the excluded person using the Internet or a mobile phone.
Falsify Identity: This occurs when the offender hacks another’s account and begins posting content or pictures aimed at causing embarrassment or reputation damage to the victim, often resulting in isolating the victim from others. Also known as Catfishing.
Fraping: When somebody logs into your account and impersonates you by posting inappropriate content in your name.
Trolling: The deliberate act of provoking a response through the use of insults or bad language.
Trickery: Talking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information or images online.
Flaming: Corresponding through chat rooms, e-mail, and instant messenger via electronic communication. Flaming refers to arguments or messages that are supplemented with graphics, specific images, and harsh language to drive home a point. Examples include photo and video postings and sexting.
Masquerading/Impersonation: Sophisticated forms of cyberbullying in which an individual creates a false identity and harasses another while pretending to be someone else. Masquerading or impersonation can include theft of another person’s login information to broadcast harassing or humiliating information about the target online.
Outing: An individual disclosing private information online to friends that is then disseminated over the web through social websites and/or mobile phones.
Sexting: Sexting is sending sexually explicit messages via cell phone or instant messenger. As technology has advanced and cell phones have the capability to record and send photos and video, the practice of sending suggestive and explicit pictures has increased especially among teens.
Doxxing: Search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.
Sources: Notar, Padgett, and Roden 2013; Kid Safety by Kaspersky Lab 2015

Acts of harassment, bullying or cyberbullying can occur:

  • on school property
  • at a school function
  • off school property: where such acts create or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment, where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach school property

Questions about DASA

The DASA coordinators in your building are:

WES – Alison Santiago, Social Worker
phone: 518-629-3332 │email: asantiago@vlietschools.org

WJSHS – Madelyn Degler, School Counselor
phone: 518-629-3210 │email: mdegler@vlietschools.org

District Level – Kirsten DeMento, Administrator
phone: 518-629-3231 │email: kdemento@vlietschools.org

If you are not sure the incident qualifies, you should speak to the building principal or a coordinator about your concerns.