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Yorktown Students Learn About NYS Dignity Act

Teacher aide Debra Canzio wore a costume and used a puppet to help students feel comfortable about sharing their feelings on the topic of dignity. Photo Credit: Contributed
School social worker Joann Fenton helps students understand the definition of dignity. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Learning Center students from Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES attended an assembly to learn about the New York State Dignity Act recently.

The assembly served to educate teachers, as well as students, about the Dignity Act, including the requirement that schools record and respond to incidents of discrimination or harassment.

The assembly was presented by school social worker Joann Fenton and teacher aide Debra Canzio. Canzio used a fluffy puppet, “Dignity Dog,” to help the students open up and share their thoughts on the concept of dignity.

Fenton also showed examples of “student action forms,”  which students can use to report situations where they felt bullied or discriminated against.

The Dignity Act became law in New York state last year, and it aims to ensure that all students in elementary and secondary schools are provided a safe and secure environment, free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus or at a school function.

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