New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act took effect July 1. The new law aims to provide a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying either on school property, on a school bus or at a school function.
Included in the policy is a focus on expanding the concepts of tolerance and respect to include: different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, gender identity, and sexes.
The Half Hollow Hills School District took up the state's recommendations last month by spelling out its intolerance of gay bashing in black in white.
“The benchmark we try to use is based on what the right thing to do is. The right thing is to not be tolerant of any degree of bullying. The updates in the policy nail that down,” he said.
The policy also addresses cyberbullying, in which individuals face taunting and humiliation via cell phones through harassing text messages or through the Internet including social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter.
Attitudes toward cyberbullying made a dramatic shift when Tyler Clementi leaped from the George Washington Bridge after his roommate at Rutgers University had used a webcam to spy on him with another man. Clementi’s body was discovered seven days later. However, the Rutgers student is just one of 10 young people to commit suicide that year after becoming targets for bullies; two of them were 13 years old.
Which leads to the question: What do you make of the new bully rule – does it go far enough? Will it be effective in Half Hollow Hills?
Vote in the poll and tell us in the comments.