Florida Senate - 2023                                    SB 1568
       By Senator Book
       35-01246-23                                           20231568__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to student elopement; creating s.
    3         1003.211, F.S.; defining the terms “disability” and
    4         “elopement”; requiring public schools to create a
    5         School Staff Assistance for Emergencies (SAFE) Team
    6         and a school elopement plan; providing for membership
    7         and responsibilities of the team; providing
    8         requirements for the plan; requiring the team to
    9         create student-specific elopement quick reference
   10         guides for certain students; providing requirements
   11         for such guides; requiring public schools to annually
   12         submit their plans to the district school board;
   13         authorizing the State Board of Education to adopt
   14         rules; providing an effective date.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18         Section 1. Section 1003.211, Florida Statutes, is created
   19  to read:
   20         1003.211School elopement plans.—
   21         (1)For purposes of this section, the term:
   22         (a)“Disability” means, for a student in kindergarten
   23  through grade 12, autism spectrum disorder, as defined in the
   24  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth
   25  Edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association, or
   26  an intellectual disability, as defined in s. 393.063.
   27         (b)“Elopement” means when a student with a disability
   28  wanders away, walks away, runs away, escapes, or otherwise
   29  leaves the supervision of school staff or leaves school grounds
   30  unsupervised or unnoticed before the end of his or her scheduled
   31  school day.
   32         (2)To ensure the safety of students with disabilities at
   33  risk of elopement, each public school shall create a School
   34  Staff Assistance for Emergencies (SAFE) Team and a school
   35  elopement plan.
   36         (3)The school principal and assistant principal shall
   37  serve on the SAFE Team and the school principal shall appoint at
   38  least five other members to serve on the team. The SAFE Team
   39  shall:
   40         (a)Create and annually update the school elopement plan
   41  and respond to all elopements.
   42         (b)Provide training to all school personnel to familiarize
   43  them with the school elopement plan and all necessary
   44  procedures, including, but not limited to, the search grid
   45  established pursuant to paragraph (4)(a) and any
   46  responsibilities of such personnel if an elopement occurs.
   47         (4)In developing the school elopement plan, the SAFE Team
   48  must include all of the following:
   49         (a)A search grid of the school campus and surrounding
   50  areas. The search grid must include all bodies of water,
   51  intersections, train tracks and stations, parks, playgrounds,
   52  and other features that may present a greater risk for students
   53  with disabilities at risk of elopement.
   54         (b)Procedures for school personnel to notify school
   55  administrators if a student with disabilities elopes and
   56  procedures for school personnel to immediately begin searching
   57  for such student. Such procedures must specify that upon
   58  notification of an elopement, the SAFE Team must notify the
   59  school resource officer or school safety officer and local law
   60  enforcement agencies.
   61         (c)Procedures for a coordinated response to an elopement,
   62  including, but not limited to, announcing a Code Gray to alert
   63  all school personnel of the elopement and immediately contacting
   64  the student’s parent.
   65         (d)The names, positions, and contact information for all
   66  members of the SAFE Team.
   67         (e)Other information or procedures that the SAFE Team, the
   68  district school board, or the State Board of Education deems
   69  necessary.
   70         (5)(a)If a student with disabilities is prone to
   71  elopement, the SAFE Team, in coordination with the student’s
   72  parent, must create a student-specific elopement quick reference
   73  guide, which must include all of the following:
   74         1.The student’s personal identifying information.
   75         2.A current photograph of the student.
   76         3.The student’s level of communication.
   77         4.A list of the student’s interests, behaviors,
   78  preferences, and aversions.
   79         5.Any health considerations of the student.
   80         6.A list of any GPS technology that could be used to help
   81  locate the student.
   82         7.A list of possible locations within the search grid
   83  where the student may go.
   84         (b)The SAFE Team must distribute a student’s elopement
   85  quick reference guide to the student’s parent and all relevant
   86  school personnel.
   87         (6)Each public school must annually provide its elopement
   88  plan to the district school board.
   89         (7)The state board may adopt rules to administer this
   90  section.
   91         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.