Florida Senate - 2013                                    SB 1374
       By Senator Bullard
       39-00872A-13                                          20131374__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to school zero-tolerance policies;
    3         amending s. 1006.13, F.S.; revising legislative
    4         intent; requiring school zero-tolerance policies to
    5         only report acts that pose a serious threat to school
    6         safety to law enforcement and to otherwise handle acts
    7         within their own discipline systems; providing
    8         requirements for referrals of juveniles to the
    9         criminal or juvenile justice system for petty acts of
   10         misconduct or misdemeanors; requiring school districts
   11         to assign expelled students to a disciplinary program
   12         during the period of expulsion; revising requirements
   13         for agreements between school districts and law
   14         enforcement agencies; requiring that certain polices
   15         be provided to the Department of Education annually;
   16         providing for a model policy; making distribution of
   17         certain funds contingent on compliance with specified
   18         procedures; requiring an annual report by the
   19         Commissioner of Education; requiring approval of
   20         certain policies in order to receive certain funds;
   21         authorizing funds to be used for specified activities;
   22         requiring a report concerning the use of funds;
   23         providing an effective date.
   25  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   27         Section 1. Subsections (1), (2), and (3), paragraphs (b)
   28  and (c) of subsection (4), and subsection (8) of section
   29  1006.13, Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsections (9),
   30  (10), and (11) are added to that section, to read:
   31         1006.13 Policy of zero tolerance for crime and
   32  victimization.—
   33         (1) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote a safe
   34  and supportive learning environment in schools, to protect
   35  students and staff from conduct that poses a serious threat to
   36  school safety, and to encourage schools to use alternatives to
   37  expulsion or referral to law enforcement agencies by addressing
   38  disruptive behavior through restitution, civil citation, teen
   39  court, neighborhood restorative justice, school offense
   40  protocols, or similar programs. The Legislature finds that zero
   41  tolerance policies are not intended to be rigorously applied to
   42  petty acts of misconduct and misdemeanors, including, but not
   43  limited to, minor fights or disturbances. The Legislature finds
   44  that zero-tolerance policies must apply equally to all students
   45  regardless of their economic status, race, or disability.
   46         (2)(a) Each district school board shall adopt a policy of
   47  zero tolerance that:
   48         1.(a) Defines criteria for reporting to a law enforcement
   49  agency any act that occurs whenever or wherever students are
   50  within the jurisdiction of the district school board which poses
   51  a serious threat to school safety. Acts that do not pose a
   52  serious threat to school safety shall be handled within the
   53  school’s discipline system.
   54         2.(b) Defines acts that pose a serious threat to school
   55  safety.
   56         3.(c) Defines petty acts of misconduct.
   57         4. Specifies that students not be arrested or otherwise
   58  referred to the juvenile or criminal justice system for petty
   59  acts of misconduct or misdemeanors unless it is determined that
   60  the failure to use arrest or justice-system referral would
   61  endanger the physical safety of other students or staff within
   62  the school. Such a determination shall be documented in a
   63  written report that includes a description of the behavior at
   64  issue and an explanation of why the actions taken were
   65  necessary.
   66         5.(d) Minimizes the victimization of students, staff, or
   67  volunteers, including taking all steps necessary to protect the
   68  victim of any violent crime from any further victimization.
   69         6.(e) Establishes a procedure that provides each student
   70  with the opportunity for a review of the disciplinary action
   71  imposed pursuant to s. 1006.07.
   72         (b) This section does not limit a school’s authority and
   73  discretion under law to use other disciplinary consequences as
   74  appropriate to address school-based incidents.
   75         (3) Zero-tolerance policies must require students found to
   76  have committed one of the following offenses to be expelled,
   77  with or without continuing educational services, from the
   78  student’s regular school for a period of not less than 1 full
   79  year, and to be referred to the criminal justice or juvenile
   80  justice system:.
   81         (a) Bringing a firearm or weapon, as defined in chapter
   82  790, to school, to any school function, or onto any school
   83  sponsored transportation or possessing a firearm at school.
   84         (b) Making a threat or false report, as defined by ss.
   85  790.162 and 790.163, respectively, involving school or school
   86  personnel’s property, school transportation, or a school
   87  sponsored activity.
   89  District school boards shall may assign the student to a
   90  disciplinary program for the purpose of continuing educational
   91  services during the period of expulsion. District school
   92  superintendents may consider the 1-year expulsion requirement on
   93  a case-by-case basis and request the district school board to
   94  modify the requirement by assigning the student to a
   95  disciplinary program or second chance school if the request for
   96  modification is in writing and it is determined to be in the
   97  best interest of the student and the school system. If a student
   98  committing any of the offenses in this subsection is a student
   99  who has a disability, the district school board shall comply
  100  with applicable State Board of Education rules.
  101         (4)
  102         (b) The agreements must include the role of school resource
  103  officers, if applicable, in handling reported incidents that
  104  pose a serious threat to school safety and, circumstances in
  105  which school officials may handle incidents without filing a
  106  report with a law enforcement agency, and a procedure for
  107  ensuring that school personnel properly report appropriate
  108  delinquent acts and crimes.
  109         (c) Zero-tolerance policies do not require the reporting of
  110  petty acts of misconduct and misdemeanors to a law enforcement
  111  agency, including, but not limited to, disorderly conduct,
  112  disrupting a school function, simple assault or battery, affray,
  113  theft of less than $300, trespassing, and vandalism of less than
  114  $1,000, and other misdemeanors.
  115         (8) School districts are encouraged to use alternatives to
  116  expulsion or referral to law enforcement agencies unless the use
  117  of such alternatives will pose a threat to school safety. By
  118  August 1 of each year, school districts shall provide any and
  119  all policies related to this subsection to the department
  120  annually to ensure compliance.
  121         (9) To assist school districts in developing policies that
  122  ensure that students are not arrested or otherwise referred to
  123  the juvenile or criminal justice system for petty acts of
  124  misconduct or misdemeanors, the department shall develop a model
  125  policy that shall be provided to school districts no later than
  126  October 1, 2013.
  127         (10) Distribution of safe schools funds provided to a
  128  school district in fiscal year 2013-2014 and thereafter shall be
  129  contingent upon and payable to the school district upon the
  130  school district’s compliance with all reporting procedures
  131  contained in this section.
  132         (11) On or before January 1 of each year, the Commissioner
  133  of Education shall report to the Governor, the President of the
  134  Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the
  135  implementation of this section. The report shall include data
  136  regarding arrests of students in school and at any event under
  137  the jurisdiction of the district school board.
  138         Section 2. Distribution of safe schools funds to a school
  139  district provided in the 2013-2014 General Appropriations Act is
  140  contingent upon and payable to the school district upon the
  141  Department of Education’s approval of the school district’s
  142  policies that ensure that students are not arrested or otherwise
  143  referred to the juvenile or criminal justice system for petty
  144  acts of misconduct or misdemeanors. The department’s approval of
  145  such policies shall be granted upon certification by the
  146  department that the school district’s policy has been submitted
  147  to the department and is in substantial conformity with the
  148  department’s model policy as mandated in s. 1006.13(9), Florida
  149  Statutes, as created by this act.
  150         Section 3. Funds in the 2013-2014 General Appropriations
  151  Act for safe schools activities may be used for after-school
  152  programs for middle school students; other improvements to
  153  enhance the learning environment, including implementation of
  154  conflict resolution strategies; alternative school programs for
  155  adjudicated youth; suicide prevention programs; bullying
  156  prevention and intervention; and school resource officers. Each
  157  school district shall determine, based on a review of its
  158  existing programs and priorities, how much of its total
  159  allocation to use for each authorized safe school activity. If a
  160  district elects to use funds from the safe school allocation for
  161  school resource officers, it must also take affirmative steps to
  162  ensure that fewer students are referred to the juvenile or
  163  criminal justice system from schools within the district for
  164  misdemeanor offenses and other behaviors that do not pose a
  165  serious threat to school safety. The Department of Education
  166  shall monitor compliance with reporting procedures contained in
  167  s. 1006.13, Florida Statutes. Each school district shall report
  168  to the Department of Education the amount of funds expended for
  169  each of the activities listed in this section. If a district
  170  does not comply with these procedures, the district’s funds from
  171  the safe school allocation shall be withheld.
  172         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.