Florida Senate - 2015 SB 530 By Senator Ring 29-00561A-15 2015530__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to bullying and harassment policies in 3 schools; amending s. 1006.147, F.S.; requiring school 4 districts to revise their bullying and harassment 5 policies at specified intervals; specifying that a 6 school district policy require a school to implement 7 the policy in a certain manner and integrate it with 8 the school’s bullying prevention and intervention 9 program; requiring such a policy to include mandatory 10 reporting procedures and a list of authorized programs 11 that provide bullying and harassment identification, 12 prevention, and response instruction; providing an 13 effective date. 14 15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 16 17 Section 1. Subsection (4) of section 1006.147, Florida 18 Statutes, is amended to read: 19 1006.147 Bullying and harassment prohibited.— 20 (4) Each school district shall adopt and revise every 3 21 years a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment of a student 22 or employee of a public K-12 educational institution. Each 23 school district’s policy shall be in substantial conformity with 24 the Department of Education’s model policy. The school district 25 bullying and harassment policy shall afford all students the 26 same protection regardless of their status under the law. The 27 school district may establish separate discrimination policies 28 that include categories of students. The school district shall 29 involve students, parents, teachers, administrators, school 30 staff, school volunteers, community representatives, and local 31 law enforcement agencies in the process of adopting and revising 32 the policy. The school district policy must require a school to 33 implement the policy
be implementedin a manner that is ongoing 34 throughout the school year and integrated with a school’s 35 curriculum, a school’s bullying prevention and intervention 36 program, a school’s discipline policies, and other violence 37 prevention efforts. The school district policy must contain, at 38 a minimum, the following components: 39 (a) A statement prohibiting bullying and harassment. 40 (b) A definition of bullying and a definition of harassment 41 that include the definitions listed in this section. 42 (c) A description of the type of behavior expected from 43 each student and employee of a public K-12 educational 44 institution. 45 (d) The consequences for a student or employee of a public 46 K-12 educational institution who commits an act of bullying or 47 harassment. 48 (e) The consequences for a student or employee of a public 49 K-12 educational institution who is found to have wrongfully and 50 intentionally accused another of an act of bullying or 51 harassment. 52 (f) A procedure for the mandatory reporting of an act of 53 bullying or harassment, including provisions that permit a 54 person to anonymously report such an act. However, this 55 paragraph does not permit formal disciplinary action to be based 56 solely on an anonymous report. 57 (g) A procedure for the prompt investigation of a report of 58 bullying or harassment and the persons responsible for the 59 investigation. The investigation of a reported act of bullying 60 or harassment is deemed to be a school-related activity and 61 begins with a report of such an act. Incidents that require a 62 reasonable investigation when reported to appropriate school 63 authorities shall include alleged incidents of bullying or 64 harassment allegedly committed against a child while the child 65 is en route to school aboard a school bus or at a school bus 66 stop. 67 (h) A process to investigate whether a reported act of 68 bullying or harassment is within the scope of the district 69 school system and, if not, a process for referral of such an act 70 to the appropriate jurisdiction. Computers without web-filtering 71 software or computers with web-filtering software that is 72 disabled shall be used when complaints of cyberbullying are 73 investigated. 74 (i) A procedure for providing immediate notification to the 75 parents of a victim of bullying or harassment and the parents of 76 the perpetrator of an act of bullying or harassment, as well as 77 notification to all local agencies where criminal charges may be 78 pursued against the perpetrator. 79 (j) A procedure to refer victims and perpetrators of 80 bullying or harassment for counseling. 81 (k) A procedure for including incidents of bullying or 82 harassment in the school’s report of data concerning school 83 safety and discipline required under s. 1006.09(6). The report 84 must include each incident of bullying or harassment and the 85 resulting consequences, including discipline and referrals. The 86 report must include in a separate section each reported incident 87 of bullying or harassment that does not meet the criteria of a 88 prohibited act under this section with recommendations regarding 89 such incidents. The Department of Education shall aggregate 90 information contained in the reports. 91 (l) A list of programs authorized by the school district 92 that provide procedure for providinginstruction to students, 93 parents, teachers, school administrators, counseling staff, and 94 school volunteers on identifying, preventing, and responding to 95 bullying or harassment, including instruction on recognizing 96 behaviors that lead to bullying and harassment and taking 97 appropriate preventive action based on those observations. 98 (m) A procedure for regularly reporting to a victim’s 99 parents the actions taken to protect the victim. 100 (n) A procedure for publicizing the policy, which must 101 include its publication in the code of student conduct required 102 under s. 1006.07(2) and in all employee handbooks. 103 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.