Federal and State Policies

These are notes that were prepared for a Policy Committee meeting.


“At a minimum, the district's policy should cover harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, and disability, because these types of harassment are forbidden by federal laws prohibiting discrimination by school districts receiving federal financial assistance. The district's policy should also cover other kinds of harassment, such as harassment based on sexual orientation or religion, as prohibited by state or local laws. The state department of education, the state attorney general, and municipal and county officials can provide information on state and local requirements.” Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crime - A Guide for Schools. U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and the National Association of Attorneys General. January, 1999.

“Hostile environment [sexual] harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature by another student, a school employee, or a third party are sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity or to create a hostile or abusive educational environment.”

“However, nonsexual harassing behavior directed at a student because of the student's sexual orientation does not constitute sexual harassment under the federal discrimination laws enforced by OCR. For example, heckling comments made to students because of their sexual orientation, such as ‘gay students are not welcome here,’ does not constitute sexual harassment under Title IX.”

NYS – Violent Incident Reporting

NYS – Code of Conduct

Education Law – Chapter 16, Title II, ARTICLE 55, § 2801. Codes of conduct on school property

2. The board of education [...] of every school district within the state [...] shall adopt and amend, as appropriate, a code of conduct for the maintenance of order on school property [...] which shall govern the conduct of students, teachers and other school personnel as well as visitors and shall provide for the enforcement thereof. [...] Such code of conduct shall include, at a minimum:

a. provisions regarding conduct, dress and language deemed appropriate and acceptable on school property, including a school function, and conduct, dress and language deemed unacceptable and inappropriate on school property, including a school function, and provisions regarding acceptable civil and respectful treatment of teachers, school administrators, other school personnel, students and visitors on school property, including a school function, including the appropriate range of disciplinary measures which may be imposed for violation of such code, and the roles of teachers, administrators, other school personnel, the board of education and parents;


NYS – SAVE Guidelines

“Creating and maintaining safe learning environments is everybody’s business. While schools remain among the safest places for our students, one incident of violence or disruption of learning is one too many. Teachers, school administrators and members of the general school community are becoming increasingly concerned about school safety and the potential for violence that exists in every community. Elementary, middle, junior high schools, and high schools in urban, suburban and rural communities throughout the State are seeking ways to ensure the safety of students in school. While media attention has focused on the most traumatic incidents of school violence, the impact of other violent acts that impair education also need to be given attention. These acts include bullying, threats or intimidation, disruptive behavior in class, carrying of weapons, fighting, physical assaults and other behaviors that impede learning.”

Project SAVE Safe Schools Against Violence in Education - Guidance Document for School Safety Plans. The University of the State of New York and The State Education Department. April 2001