Florida Senate - 2019 SB 1736 By Senator Book 32-01214-19 20191736__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to student elopement; creating s. 3 1003.211, F.S.; providing definitions; requiring 4 public schools to create a School Staff Assistance for 5 Emergencies (SAFE) Team and a school elopement plan; 6 providing for membership and responsibilities of the 7 team; providing requirements for the plan; requiring 8 the team to create student-specific elopement quick 9 reference guides for certain students; providing 10 requirements for the guides; requiring public schools 11 to annually submit their plans to the district school 12 board; authorizing the State Board of Education to 13 adopt rules; providing an effective date. 14 15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 16 17 Section 1. Section 1003.211, Florida Statutes, is created 18 to read: 19 1003.211 School elopement plans.— 20 (1) For purposes of this section, the term: 21 (a) “Disability” means, for a student in kindergarten 22 through grade 12, autism spectrum disorder, as defined in the 23 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth 24 Edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association, or 25 an intellectual disability, as defined in s. 393.063. 26 (b) “Elopement” means when a student with disabilities 27 wanders away, walks away, runs away, escapes, or otherwise 28 leaves the supervision of school staff or leaves school grounds 29 unsupervised or unnoticed before the end of his or her scheduled 30 school day. 31 (2) To ensure the safety of students with disabilities at 32 risk of elopement, each public school shall create a School 33 Staff Assistance for Emergencies (SAFE) Team and a school 34 elopement plan. 35 (3) The school principal and assistant principal shall 36 serve on the SAFE Team, and the school principal shall appoint 37 at least five other members to serve on the team. The SAFE Team 38 shall: 39 (a) Create and annually update the school elopement plan 40 and respond to all elopements. 41 (b) Provide training to all school personnel to familiarize 42 such personnel with the school elopement plan and all necessary 43 procedures, including, but not limited to, the search grid 44 established pursuant to paragraph (4)(a) and any 45 responsibilities of such personnel if an elopement occurs. 46 (4) In developing the school elopement plan, the SAFE Team 47 must include all of the following: 48 (a) A search grid of the school campus and surrounding 49 areas. The search grid must include all bodies of water, 50 intersections, train tracks and stations, parks, playgrounds, 51 and other features that may present a greater risk for students 52 with disabilities at risk of elopement. 53 (b) Procedures for school personnel to notify school 54 administrators if a student with disabilities elopes and 55 procedures for school personnel to begin searching for such 56 student. Such procedures must specify that upon notification of 57 an elopement, the SAFE Team must notify the school resource 58 officer or school safety officer and, if such officer deems 59 necessary, local law enforcement. If a school resource officer 60 or school safety officer is unavailable, the SAFE Team must 61 immediately notify local law enforcement. 62 (c) Procedures for a coordinated response to an elopement, 63 including, but not limited to, announcing a Code Gray, which 64 will alert all school personnel to the elopement, and contacting 65 the student’s parent. 66 (d) The names, positions, and contact information for all 67 members of the SAFE Team. 68 (e) Other information or procedures that the SAFE Team, 69 district school board, or State Board of Education deems 70 necessary. 71 (5)(a) If a student with disabilities is prone to 72 elopement, the SAFE Team, in coordination with the student’s 73 parent, must create a student-specific elopement quick reference 74 guide. Such elopement quick reference guide must include all of 75 the following: 76 1. The student’s identifying information. 77 2. A current photograph of the student. 78 3. The student’s level of communication. 79 4. A list of the student’s interests, behaviors, 80 preferences, and aversions. 81 5. Any health considerations for the student. 82 6. A list of any GPS technology that could be used to help 83 locate the student. 84 7. A list of possible locations where the student may go 85 within the search grid. 86 (b) The SAFE Team must distribute a student’s elopement 87 quick reference guide to the student’s parent and all relevant 88 school personnel. 89 (6) Each public school must annually provide its elopement 90 plan to the district school board. 91 (7) The state board may adopt rules to administer this 92 section. 93 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.