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Straight talk to students about behavior

More than ‘do’ and ‘don’t,’ Code of Conduct is a guide to school success

We need some rules around here.

Anti-bullying posterIn order for HFM BOCES to live up to its responsibility to provide solid educational programs, and for students to get the most out of the opportunities offered, there needs to be some guidelines that everyone can live by.

Every student has certain rights, most protected by state or federal laws. At the same time, every student accepts certain responsibilities for their education and behavior. These rights and responsibilities create an orderly and safe place for you and everyone else to learn and prepare for your future.

The Board of Education is responsible for establishing policies that define every aspect of how BOCES operates, including your rights and responsibilities – a code of conduct.

Their policies are written in language that satisfies legal requirements. However, legalese is not always easy to read or understand.

The Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) requires schools to make polices related to student conduct available to students in plain language. That’s what this article is about.

DASA says that you should feel safe at school and at school activities. The words and actions of others should not keep you from concentrating on your schoolwork.

Everyone is different, and no one should be harassed or threatened because of their race, color, weight, national origin (where your family comes from), ethnic group, religion, religious practices, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex.

It is against school rules for anyone to make you feel threatened or unsafe, or for you to do the same to anyone else. The Dignity for All Students Act protects you and helps everyone feel safe at school so they can learn.

If you want to read the complete, official HFM BOCES board policies, look here.

What is a Dignity Act Coordinator?

HFM BOCES Board of Education has appointed at least one employee in every division in HFM BOCES and for every building where BOCES staff workas a Dignity Act Coordinator. These people—whom students trust and are comfortable talking with—are thoroughly trained in ways to work with students and staff to handle reports of bullying and harassment.

HFM Dignity Act Coordinators (DAC) are intentionally chosen to be a safe place for targeted students, witnesses and aggressors to talk privately about incidents.

Who are the Dignity Act Coordinators at HFM BOCES?

Career and Technical Education

Michael DiMezza (518) 736-4681 x. 4602,
Charis Dimitriou (518) 736-4681 x. 4627,

Special Education

(518) 736-4350

Matthew Popp,
Dan Salvagni,

Alternative Education

Christine Carioto, 518-736-4321,
Julie Blanchard, 518-736-4321,


Jennifer Sponnoble, (518) 762-3714,


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