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Helen B. Duffield Elementary School

Dignity Task Force


Duffield supports the District’s commitment to provide a safe and constructive learning environment that honors the dignity and worth of every individual. 


It is the responsibility of the Connetquot Central School District to address bullying and harassment issues that occur.  District staff members are to create an orderly environment within the Connetquot Central School District through training, monitoring and intervening when bullying and harassment occur.


Bullying and harassment are forms of dangerous and disrespectful behavior that will not be permitted or tolerated.  Bullying and harassment may involve a range of misconduct which, based on the severity, will warrant a measured response of corrective action and/or discipline.  Behaviors that do not rise to the level of bullying and harassment, as defined below, still may be subject to intervention and/or discipline under another section of the discipline plan or a discipline policy.  A formal complaints may be made by completing CCSD Policy #0115-E.1 which can be found on the district website and should be submitted to the building principal.



Bullying means any overt act or combination of such acts directed against a student by another student or group of students and which:

  • is repeated over time;
  • is intended to ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the student;
  • occurs during the school day on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity or before or after the school day on a school bus or at a school-sponsored activity.


Harassment means any gesture, written, verbal or physical act that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory handicap, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, that occurs during the school day on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity, or before or after the school day on a school bus or at a school-sponsored activity and which:

  • a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of harming a student or damaging the student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his person or damage to his property; or
  • has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students in such a way as to cause substantial disruption with a student’s education, or substantial interference with the orderly operation of the school.

Bullying and harassment can take various forms:

  • Physical (including, but not limited to, hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, taking or damaging personal belongings);
  • Verbal (including, but not limited to, taunting, malicious teasing, name calling, making threats);
  • Psychological (including, but not limited to, spreading rumors; manipulating social relationships, engaging in social exclusion, extortion or intimidation);
  • Internet or cyber-bullying (including, but not limited to, the use of instant messaging [IM], e-mail, web sites, chat rooms, and text messaging that is used to bully or harass another student or employee, and when such use interferes with the operation of the school, or infringes upon the general health, safety and well-being of district students or employees);
  • Hazing (including, but not limited to, various forms of bullying and harassment of students by other students in regard to pledging and/or a student's initiation into or affiliation with a school or student related organization or team).

It is important to note that a single negative act as enumerated above may also constitute bullying (if not more serious misconduct) based upon the particular circumstances such as the seriousness of the act and/or the intent of the alleged perpetrator.

Conduct that might otherwise be considered bullying and harassment but does not occur during the school day on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity, or before or after the school day on a school bus or at a school-sponsored activity event may still be subject to disciplinary action.


Reporting of bullying and harassment


  • When bullying is found to have occurred, consequences will be imparted using the discipline rubric followed by the school.
  • The Connetquot Central School District requires school staff to notify the parent or guardian of a student who commits a verified act of bullying or harassment of the response of the school staff and consequences that may result in the event of further acts of bullying or harassment.
  • To the extent permitted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, (FERPA), the Connetquot Central School District requires school staff to notify the parent or guardian of a student who is a target of bullying or harassment of the action taken to prevent any further acts of bullying or harassment.


Using the bullying prevention policy as a guide, use this document to outline what steps you, as a parent, should take if your child is involved in bullying. 


Chain of Command

If you believe your child is involved in bullying, contact the following school personnel, in the order indicated, to discuss the situation:

  1. Staff member involved or main classroom teacher or advisor
  2. Assistant Principal
  3. Principal
  4. Assistant Superintendent
  5. Superintendent
  6. School Board

Discuss the Facts and Details

To find out the details of a particular situation, ask the following questions:

  • Specifically, what happened in this instance?
  • Where did/does the bullying take place?
  • At what time of day did/does the bullying take place?
  • What staff members were/are involved?
  • What students were/are involved?

If you think your child has been involved in more than one bullying episode, consider the following issues:

  • How does your child usually behave at school? 
  • Is the bullying issue a common behavior or a change in behavior?
  • Which staff members are, or should be, supervising when the bullying occurs?
  • Where does the bullying usually take place?
  • What time of day does the bullying usually take place?
  • Are there bystanders nearby?  How do they respond?


If your child is accused of, or has been confirmed of bullying, consider the following:

  • What was your child’s role?
  • What skills do you think your child needs to learn to replace bullying behavior with acceptable behavior?
  • What procedures do you think the staff needs to do differently to prevent the behavior from recurring?
  • What reasonable procedures do you think need to be put in place to help your child behave within the school guidelines?


If your child has been the target of bullying consider the following:

  • How does your child usually respond when being bullied? 
  • Are there skills he needs to learn to minimize being the target of bullying?
  • In your opinion, what changes in staff response should be implemented?
  • In your opinion, what reasonable procedures need to be put in place to keep your child safe?


This guide, along with your insights and suggestions, will help school personnel, parents and students work together to ensure all students are safe and to maintain a positive learning environment. If you are having an issue with bullying please contact Mrs. Pisani.


In addition to the policy, various programs are scheduled to further support the District’s Anti-Bullying Initiative. Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS) visits the Fourth & Fifth Grade classrooms to present the Steer Clear of Bullies program. This is a series of two workshops teaching empathy, social skills, bully prevention and assertiveness training. The objective of the two lessons is to help children identify feelings, promote social skills-how to be a friend, and how to appropriately deal with bullies. At the end of the workshop students are invited to participate in their CAPS poster contest. 


All students K-5 will participate in a Bully Prevention lesson from Mrs. Pisani each school year.  Some of these lessons include videos, caring kids program and role playing.



Mrs. Farrell, Principal

Mrs. Pisani, YFS & DASA Coordinator

Miss Henning, Physical Education Teacher

Mrs. Kramer, 4th Grade Teacher

Dr. Ramonetti, School Psychologist

Miss Tenaglia, Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Oquendo, Reading Teacher

Mrs. Caiola, Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Carlson, 2nd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Esposito, Teacher Asst.

Mrs. Fontano, Speech Teacher

Ms. Knudtsen, Art Teacher

Mr. Melfi, Physical Education Teacher

Mrs. Phillips, 3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Prin, Resource Room Teacher

Mrs. Randazzo, 3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Squicciarini, 2nd Grade Teacher

Ms. Tarpey, 1st Grade Teacher


 The above committee meets at least one time per month to discuss ideas to help victims of bullying and further bully prevention at Duffield Elementary School.