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Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School

Dignity For ALL Students Act

The Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) protects all students from harassment, discrimination, and bullying of any kind by other students, school personnel, parents and other visitors before, during or after the school day, whether on or off school property, school bus or attending a school-sponsored activity. DASA states that no student shall be subjected to discrimination, harassment or bullying based on his or her actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, weight (or other physical features), sexual orientation, gender identity, or biological sex.

Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School supports the District’s commitment to provide a safe and constructive learning environment that honors the dignity and worth of every individual.

 

Mission Statement

The Connetquot Central School District of Islip is committed to raising the awareness of the issue of bullying in our schools. Our mission is to help parents, teachers, students and the community address this problem. We aspire to eradicate bullying in all district buildings and create mutual respect in the Connetquot community.

 

OBMS DASA COORDINATORS
Sue Bailey – Principal; Joseph Piombo – Assistant Principal; Stacy Folbert – Social Worker (YFS); Lori Harned – Guidance Counselor; Marielle Tutino– Guidance Counselor; Stephanie Zabbia – Guidance Counselor; Lenore Viollis – Psychologist; Jessica Wickers – Psychologist

Bullying and harassment are forms of dangerous and disrespectful behavior that will not be permitted or tolerated. Bullying and harassment may involve a range of misconduct which, based on the severity, will warrant a measured response of corrective action and/or discipline. Behaviors that do not rise to the level of bullying and harassment, as defined below, still may be subject to intervention and/or discipline under another section of the discipline plan or a discipline policy. A formal complaint may be made by completing CCSD Policy #0115-E.1 which can be found on the district website and should be submitted to the building principal.

The Dignity Act defines Harassment as “creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by
verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and
substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits,
or mental, emotional or physical well-being…”

What is bullying?
Bullying is aggressive behavior that is persistent, intentional and involves an imbalance of
power or strength. Traditionally bullying involves actions such as hitting, teasing, and or
intimidation through social exclusion. In addition, cyberbullying is bullying through the
electronic media.

The four types of bullying are:

  • Physical
  • Verbal
  •  Cyber
  •  Relational

What are the possible warning signs of bullying?
Warning signs for parents may include, but are not limited to, when your child:

  •  Comes home with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings
  •  Reports losing items such as books, electronics, clothing, or jewelry
  •  Has unexplained injuries
  •  Complains frequently of headaches, stomach-aches, or feeling sick
  •  Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams
  •  Has changes in eating habits
  •  Hurts himself or herself
  •  Is very hungry after school from not eating their lunch
  •  Runs away from home
  •  Loses interest in visiting or talking with friends
  •  Is afraid of going to school or other activities with peers
  •  Loses interest in school work or begins to do poorly in school
  •  Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed when they come home
  •  Talks about suicide
  •  Feels helpless
  •  Often feels like they are not good enough
  •  Blames themselves for their problems
  •  Suddenly has fewer friends
  •  Avoids certain places
  •  Acts differently

 If you suspect your child is involved in bullying behavior, please consider the following:

  • Discuss your concerns with your child
  • Determine if your child has been having any particular problems with other children
  • Assess if your child is experiencing difficulties in other areas
  • Assist your child in understanding the serious nature and consequences of bullying behavior
  • Contact your child’s school if you need additional assistance and/or support
  • Share your concerns with your child’s teacher or any other significant adult (YFS Coordinator, Guidance Counselor, Psychologist, teacher, coach, scout-leader etc.)

How can you help your child?

  •  Give strategies for the target/victim:
    •  Ignore or walk away
    •  Assertively tell the person to stop and then walk away
    •  Warn that you will get help from an adult and then walk away
    •  Get help - clearly tell an adult what has happened

 Offer Support:

Speak to your child privately. Learn about what’s been going on. Listen, get the facts and assess your child's feelings about the bullying. Is this the first time he or she has been hurt by bullying or is this something that has been going on for a while? Assure your child that it is not his or her fault.

Praise your child for their courage to discuss bullying incidents with you. Explain how helpful they are being by providing this important information.

 What is Cyberbullying?

 A Digital Footprint - Remember that messages, posts, and comments on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Smart Phones are instantaneous and last forever!

 Cyberbullying can be:

  • Sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images
  • Posting sensitive, private information and/or lies about another person
  • Pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad
  • Intentionally excluding someone from an online group


Did You Know?
94% of all children between the ages of 3-18 use the internet
32% of teens clear their browser history to hide information from their parents
16% of teens have created private emails and social network pages to hide information from their parents
20% of teens have engaged in cyberbullying
42% of parents do not review the content of their child’s internet access
30% of parents allow their children to use the computer in unsupervised areas

 Where does Cyberbullying occur?

 Email, instant messaging, text, digital images, social network sites (Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Club Penguin, Twitter, Oovo, AIM), Web pages, Blogs, Chat rooms

 Types of Cyberbullying

  • Identity theft - fake profiles might be set up pretending to be an individual with the sole aim of bullying others
  • Chat rooms, blogs and forums - although you are supposed to be at least 13 years of age, very few are monitored
  • Pictures and photo sharing – videos of girls or boys dressing and undressing in the locker room, etc.
  • Text messages and E-mails that are abusive or threatening
  • Social media networks, such as Facebook, that post offensive messages about others

What can parents do about Cyberbullying?

  • Encourage your child to talk about their friends and share their day
  • Don’t overreact until you are sure about the situation
  • Encourage your child to share any abusive or offensive material sent to them via the internet or phone
  • Turn on safety features to ensure your family only receives messages from approved sources
  • Remember it is important to help your child solve the problem, include them in the solution
  • If the situation deems necessary, contact your local police department immediately

 

Related Links

Bullying:
CYBER TIPLINE/1-800-843-5678
Cyberbullying research center- http://www.cyberbullying.us/
Connect Safely- Smart Social media- http://www.connectsafely.org/
Onguard Online - http://www.onguardonline.gov

Safe Gaming:
http://netsmartz.org/Gaming

 CyberSafety:
www.isafe.org

Netiquette:
http://www.edutopia.org/whats-next-2008-netiquette-guidelines