skip to main content

Bullying Prevention & Dignity Act (DASA)

Contact: Sarah Kiersh, District Dignity Act Coordinator
Phone: (631) 730-4595
Email directory

To report an act of bullying, please complete the following DASA Complaint form and submit it to the building-level coordinator listed below.

Building-Level Co-Coordinators
School Contact Phone Number
Ward Melville HS Acting Principal - Dr. Paul Gold (631) 730-4900
  Social Worker - Dianna Gott (631) 730-4915
  Social Worker - Lauren Pepe (631) 730-4917
The Three Village Academy Principal - Gustave Hueber (631) 730-5052
  Psychologist - Jose Salazar (631) 730-5055
P.J. Gelinas JHS Principal - Corinne Keane (631) 730-4700
  Social Worker - Pam Roberts (631) 730-4745
R.C. Murphy JHS Principal - Vincent Cereola (631) 730-4800

Social Worker - Kristine Sheiffele (631) 730-4848
Arrowhead Elementary Principal - Marisa Redden (631) 730-4100
  Social Worker - Judy Forgione (631) 730-4134
Minnesauke Elementary Principal - Nancy Pickford (631) 730-4200

Social Worker - Leia Woodruff (631) 730-4223
W.S. Mount Elementary Principal - Merrilleen Heidrich (631) 730-4300
  Social Worker -Kayla Muglia (631) 730-4326
Nassakeag Elementary Principal - Heather Levine (631) 730-4400
  Social Worker - Kate Coppola (631) 730-4428
Setauket Elementary Principal - Dr. Deana Rinaldi (631) 730-4600
  Social Worker - Danielle Wilkinson & Jenna O'Leary (631) 730-4630

What is the Dignity Act?

The New York State Dignity for All Students Act (Dignity Act or DASA) took effect July 1, 2012 and was established to provide a school environment free of discrimination and harassment. Amended on July 1, 2013, the act now includes the term bullying and prohibits acts of cyberbullying. DASA states that no students shall be subjected to harassment by employees or students, nor shall any student be subjected to discrimination based on their actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or sex. The law applies to school property and any school-sponsored function or activity. Under this law, school districts are responsible for preventing, monitoring and addressing bullying through staff training to raise awareness and sensitivity of school employees to issues of harassment and discrimination, sensitivity and tolerance curricula for students, as well as reporting acts of bullying to the New York State Education Department through the defined reporting system.


Implementing DASA in Three Village:

As per the new law, the district’s Board of Education has adopted a policy implementing the requirements of DASA. A complete copy of this policy (Policy #0115 and #0115-R) can be found here.

In support of the policy above, the district has amended its code of conduct. A copy of this code can be found here.


If you see something, say something:

The district is leading the way with its anti-bullying program initiatives. While we strongly encourage you and your child to report instances of bullying to administrators - in particular the DASA co-coordinators listed above - we understand that families and students may feel more comfortable reporting these incidents confidentially. The district’s Safe School Helpline is available for residents to use to report any facts, remarks or actions that could jeopardize the safety of students, staff or the schools. Reports can be made day or night and are kept anonymous. Additionally, information can be reported via text message by entering the number 66746, then typing in the word “‘TIPS.”

Phone: 1-800-4-1-VOICE, ext. 359
A link regarding this service is located on our district’s homepage on the left-hand sidebar.

Definition of Bullying:

The district defines bullying as intentional harmful behavior initiated by one or more students and directed toward another student. Bullying exists when a student with more social and/or physical power deliberately dominates and harasses another who has less power. Bullying is unjustified and typically is repeated. Bullying differs from conflict. Bullying involves a power imbalance element wherein one or more students target a student who has difficulty defending him or herself. Bullying can take many forms. Examples are listed below.

  • Verbal - name calling, teasing
  • Social - spreading rumors, leaving people out on purpose, breaking up friendships
  • Physical - hitting, punching, shoving
  • Cyber bullying - using the Internet, mobile phones, or other digital and electronic technologies to harm others

An act of bullying may fit into more than one of these groups.


Knowing the Difference: Bullying vs. Conflict

Too often, incidents between individuals are labeled as bullying when in fact they are occurrences of everyday conflict. As children and adults deal with conflict to varying degrees every day, it is important to distinguish between the two. When assessing a situation, remember:

Bullying is intentionally harmful behavior that occurs repeatedly over time. It is characterized by an imbalance of power and has ongoing effects on the target. Bullies are not remorseful for their actions and show no effort to solve the problem.

Normal social conflict will occur among friends occasionally. These are often accidental, not serious, and leave both parties with an equal emotional reaction. Remorse is shown and effort will be put into solving the problem.


Safe Schools Helpline

Reports of any facts, remarks, or actions that could jeopardize the safety of students, staff, or the schools can be made day or night using a home, cell, or pay phone. The toll-free number to call is 1-800-4-1-VOICE, ext. 359.

Additionally, reports can be made online at

Important Links

Teacher Resources