The effects of bullying can be terrible. School bullying can lead to extremely severe physical, emotional, and psychological injuries. Bullying cannot be dismissed as part of growing up by parents and certainly not by schools.

The New York law that prohibits bullying in schools is the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). DASA prohibits harassment or bullying of students by students or school employees. The law includes behavior that occurs off school property including cyberbullying if it could be expected to disrupt the school environment.

“’Harassment’ and ‘bullying’ shall mean the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by threats, intimidation or abuse, including cyberbullying, that (a) 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; or (b) reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety; or (c) reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or emotional harm to a student; or (d) occurs off school property and creates 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. Acts of harassment and bullying shall include, but not be limited to, those acts based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex. For the purposes of this definition the term ‘threats, intimidation or abuse” shall include verbal and non-verbal actions.”