Florida Senate - 2021                                     SB 858
       By Senator Taddeo
       40-00183A-21                                           2021858__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to corporal punishment in public
    3         schools; providing a short title; amending s. 1002.20,
    4         F.S.; specifying that only school principals, and not
    5         teachers, may administer corporal punishment to public
    6         school students; requiring school principals to notify
    7         students’ parents in writing and receive written
    8         consent before administering corporal punishment;
    9         requiring school principals who have administered
   10         corporal punishment to provide parents with written
   11         explanations of the punishment; amending s. 1003.01,
   12         F.S.; revising the definition of the term “corporal
   13         punishment”; conforming a provision to changes made by
   14         the act; amending s. 1003.32, F.S.; authorizing
   15         teachers and other instructional personnel to request
   16         that principals administer corporal punishment;
   17         prohibiting principals from administering corporal
   18         punishment unless they have taken specified actions;
   19         prohibiting principals from administering corporal
   20         punishment to students with disabilities; conforming
   21         provisions to changes made by the act; providing an
   22         effective date.
   24  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   26         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Sofia Taddeo
   27  Goldstein Act.”
   28         Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subsection (4) of section
   29  1002.20, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   30         1002.20 K-12 student and parent rights.—Parents of public
   31  school students must receive accurate and timely information
   32  regarding their child’s academic progress and must be informed
   33  of ways they can help their child to succeed in school. K-12
   34  students and their parents are afforded numerous statutory
   35  rights including, but not limited to, the following:
   36         (4) DISCIPLINE.—
   37         (c) Corporal punishment.—
   38         1. In accordance with the provisions of s. 1003.32,
   39  corporal punishment of a public school student may only be
   40  administered by a teacher or school principal within guidelines
   41  prepared by of the school principal and according to district
   42  school board policy. The school principal must notify the
   43  student’s parent in writing, and the student’s parent must
   44  provide written consent, before the principal administers the
   45  punishment. Another adult must be present and must be informed
   46  in the student’s presence of the reason for the punishment. A
   47  Upon request, the teacher or school principal who has
   48  administered corporal punishment must provide the parent with a
   49  written explanation of the reason for the punishment and the
   50  name of the other adult who was present.
   51         2. A district school board having a policy authorizing the
   52  use of corporal punishment as a form of discipline shall review
   53  its policy on corporal punishment once every 3 years during a
   54  district school board meeting held pursuant to s. 1001.372. The
   55  district school board shall take public testimony at the board
   56  meeting. If such board meeting is not held in accordance with
   57  this subparagraph, the portion of the district school board’s
   58  policy authorizing corporal punishment expires.
   59         Section 3. Subsection (7) of section 1003.01, Florida
   60  Statutes, is amended to read:
   61         1003.01 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
   62         (7) “Corporal punishment” means the moderate use of
   63  physical force or physical contact by a teacher or principal as
   64  may be necessary to maintain discipline or to enforce school
   65  rule through the use of a paddle. However, the term “corporal
   66  punishment” does not include the use of such reasonable force by
   67  a teacher or principal as may be necessary for self-protection
   68  or to protect other students from disruptive students.
   69         Section 4. Paragraph (k) of subsection (1) of section
   70  1003.32, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   71         1003.32 Authority of teacher; responsibility for control of
   72  students; district school board and principal duties.—Subject to
   73  law and to the rules of the district school board, each teacher
   74  or other member of the staff of any school shall have such
   75  authority for the control and discipline of students as may be
   76  assigned to him or her by the principal or the principal’s
   77  designated representative and shall keep good order in the
   78  classroom and in other places in which he or she is assigned to
   79  be in charge of students.
   80         (1) In accordance with this section and within the
   81  framework of the district school board’s code of student
   82  conduct, teachers and other instructional personnel shall have
   83  the authority to undertake any of the following actions in
   84  managing student behavior and ensuring the safety of all
   85  students in their classes and school and their opportunity to
   86  learn in an orderly and disciplined classroom:
   87         (k) Request the principal to administer Use corporal
   88  punishment according to school board policy and at least the
   89  following procedures, if a teacher feels that corporal
   90  punishment is necessary:
   91         1. The use of corporal punishment shall be approved in
   92  principle by the principal before it is used, but approval is
   93  not necessary for each specific instance in which it is used.
   94  The principal shall prepare guidelines for administering such
   95  punishment which identify the types of punishable offenses and,
   96  the conditions under which the punishment may shall be
   97  administered, and the specific personnel on the school staff
   98  authorized to administer the punishment.
   99         2. A teacher or principal may administer corporal
  100  punishment only in the presence of another adult who is informed
  101  beforehand, and in the student’s presence, of the reason for the
  102  punishment.
  103         3. A principal may not administer corporal punishment to a
  104  student unless the principal has notified the student’s parent
  105  in writing and received written consent from the student’s
  106  parent before the principal administers the punishment. However,
  107  a principal may not administer corporal punishment to a student
  108  with any disability as that term is defined in s. 1002.51(2).
  109         4. A teacher or principal who has administered corporal
  110  punishment shall, upon request, provide the student’s parent
  111  with a written explanation of the reason for the punishment and
  112  the name of the other adult who was present.
  113         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.