DASA - Dignity for All Students Act

The goal of the Dignity Act is to create a safe and supportive school climate where students can learn and focus, rather than fear being discriminated against and/or verbally and/or physically harassed. All public elementary and secondary school students have the right to attend school in a safe, welcoming, considerate, and caring environment.

New York State Education Department Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Field Services Student Support Services

Every person has a right to his or her own beliefs. Regardless of those beliefs, educators have an obligation to ensure that all students in our schools feel safe, both physically and emotionally.

How we respond to messages of hate and bigotry is critical. If we condemn or alienate someone, we may lose that person entirely; but if we don’t respond, especially with a mind to thoughtfully educate, we silently encourage those messages.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” Dr. Seuss

Dignity for All Students Act Reporting Form


Dr. Steve Rappleyea, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services
914-245-1700 ext. 39075

Lakeland Central School District Dignity Act Coordinator
Mel Rafferty, Supervisor for Alternative Programs - mrafferty@lakelandschools.org 
914-528-0600

Benjamin Franklin ES Building Dignity Act Coordinator 
Tracy Mecca, Assistant Principal - 
tmecca@lakelandschools.org
914-245-7444

George Washington ES Building Dignity Act Coordinator 
Stacey Thames, Assistant Principal -  sthames@lakelandschools.org
914-528-2021

Lincoln-Titus ES Building Dignity Act Coordinator 
Deana Hartung, Assistant Principal - dhartung@lakelandschools.org

914-528-2519

Thomas Jefferson ES Building Dignity Act Coordinator 
Chris Urso, Assistant Principal - 
curso@lakelandschools.org
914-245-4802

Van Cortlandtville ES Building Dignity Act Coordinator 
Dr.  Frank Yanoti, Asst. Principal - 
fyanoti@lakelandschools.org
914-528-1354

Lakeland Copper Beech MS Building Dignity Act Coordinator 
Marc Casey, Grade 6 Assistant Principal - 
mcasey@lakelandschools.org
914-245-1885

Lakeland Copper Beech MS Building Dignity Act Coordinator 
Samantha Schulman, Grade 7 Assistant Principal - sschulman@lakelandschools.org

914-245-1885  

Lakeland Copper Beech MS Building Dignity Act Coordinator 
Jessica Stock, Grade 8 Assistant Principal - jstock@lakelandschools.org 

914-245-1885

Lakeland High School Building Dignity Act Coordinator
Christian Mercurio, Assistant Principal - 
cmercurio@lakelandschools.org
914-528-0600 

Walter Panas High School Building Dignity Act Coordinator 
Samantha Sherwood, Assistant Principal - ssherwood@lakelandschools.org
914-739-2823