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The Dignity For All Students Act : Overview and Practice

The Dignity For All Students Act : Overview and Practice

Dr. Shaun Nelms, Ed.D. and Dr. Patricia Vaughan-Brogan, Ed.D. August 12th 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Signed into law on September 13, 2010, New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.

Dr. Shaun Nelms, William and Sheila Konar Director for the Center for Urban Education Success at University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education, will provide an overview and examination of the NYS Dignity Act and how DASA is applied to create a safe positive learning environment for all students. Topics will cover the history of previous equity measures in New York State schools, rights and responsibilities of students, parents and educators in implementing DASA, and comparative examples from local districts.

Dr. Patricia Vaughan-Brogan, Director of Student Services and District Dignity Act Coordinator for Pittsford Central School District, will provide insight into PCSD’s specific practices with regard to the application of The Dignity Act and cover district-wide initiatives relevant to Pittsford communities' individual students and families.

After the presentation, participants will understand the history, purpose and objectives of DASA, challenges with the implementation and practice of DASA, what types of incidents necessitate DASA reporting, how to file a DASA report, how to follow up and what are district responsibilities to investigate and mitigate further bullying and why reporting is crucial to creating an equitable learning environment for all students.

Speaker Bios

Dr. Shaun Nelms, Ed.D. William and Sheila Konar Director for the Center for Urban Education Success, University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education EPO Superintendent, East Upper and Lower Schools in Rochester, N.Y.

Dr. Shaun Nelms is the superintendent of East Upper and Lower Schools, formerly East High School in Rochester, N.Y., a new position created through a unique partnership between the New York State Education Department, Rochester City School District, and University of Rochester. As the Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) superintendent for East, Dr. Nelms has been charged with creating a school reform model that can be replicated in urban settings throughout the United States.

In 2018, he was named the first William and Sheila Konar Director for the Center for Urban Education Success (CUES) at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education. In this role, Dr. Nelms leads the center’s efforts to support the success of K-12 urban schools both locally and nationally through a combination of research, relationship building, and a commitment to pursue and share best practices.

Prior to his superintendency, Dr. Nelms served as chief of schools for the Rochester City School District, as a principal in the Rush-Henrietta School District, and as an assistant principal and social studies teacher in the Greece School District.

A graduate of the University of Rochester, Dr. Nelms received his doctorate in K-12 school leadership and master’s in education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the State University of New York at Fredonia and NYS permanent certification as a school administrator and supervisor, and in school district leadership; and NYS permanent teaching certification in social studies, 7-12 grade.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Patricia Vaughan-Brogan, Ed.D. Director of Student Services, Pittsford Central School District

Dr. Vaughan-Brogan began serving as Director of Student Services in 2014. She has been with the District since 2002 and has previously served as Director of Special Education. Prior to coming to the District, she was a special education teacher, Director and Assistant Superintendent in New York and Ohio.

Dr. Vaughan-Brogan earned her doctorate degree in educational leadership from the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education. Her dissertation focused on systematic processes to address academic and mental health needs of high school students. Vaughan-Brogan attended the University of Rochester’s Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

As director of student services, Vaughan-Brogan’s responsibilities include overseeing the psychology, counseling and nursing functions as well as addressing student learning and social-emotional needs. She previously served as the district’s director of special education for 12 years.

She resides in Pittsford with her husband, Mark. Their two children both graduated from Pittsford Mendon High School.

Presentation Resources

Center for Urban Education Success at University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education

New York State Guidance

Bullying Prevention Resources for schools and families

DASA Website Examples: Local School Districts:


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