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2009 Florida Statutes
Authority of teacher; responsibility for control of students; district school board and principal duties.
1003.32 Authority of teacher; responsibility for control of students; district school board and principal duties.--Subject to law and to the rules of the district school board, each teacher or other member of the staff of any school shall have such authority for the control and discipline of students as may be assigned to him or her by the principal or the principal's designated representative and shall keep good order in the classroom and in other places in which he or she is assigned to be in charge of students.
(1) In accordance with this section and within the framework of the district school board's code of student conduct, teachers and other instructional personnel shall have the authority to undertake any of the following actions in managing student behavior and ensuring the safety of all students in their classes and school and their opportunity to learn in an orderly and disciplined classroom:
(a) Establish classroom rules of conduct.
(b) Establish and implement consequences, designed to change behavior, for infractions of classroom rules.
(c) Have disobedient, disrespectful, violent, abusive, uncontrollable, or disruptive students removed from the classroom for behavior management intervention.
(d) Have violent, abusive, uncontrollable, or disruptive students directed for information or assistance from appropriate school or district school board personnel.
(e) Assist in enforcing school rules on school property, during school-sponsored transportation, and during school-sponsored activities.
(f) Request and receive information as to the disposition of any referrals to the administration for violation of classroom or school rules.
(g) Request and receive immediate assistance in classroom management if a student becomes uncontrollable or in case of emergency.
(h) Request and receive training and other assistance to improve skills in classroom management, violence prevention, conflict resolution, and related areas.
(i) Press charges if there is a reason to believe that a crime has been committed on school property, during school-sponsored transportation, or during school-sponsored activities.
(j) Use reasonable force, according to standards adopted by the State Board of Education, to protect himself or herself or others from injury.
(k) Use corporal punishment according to school board policy and at least the following procedures, if a teacher feels that corporal punishment is necessary:
1. The use of corporal punishment shall be approved in principle by the principal before it is used, but approval is not necessary for each specific instance in which it is used. The principal shall prepare guidelines for administering such punishment which identify the types of punishable offenses, the conditions under which the punishment shall be administered, and the specific personnel on the school staff authorized to administer the punishment.
2. A teacher or principal may administer corporal punishment only in the presence of another adult who is informed beforehand, and in the student's presence, of the reason for the punishment.
3. A teacher or principal who has administered punishment shall, upon request, provide the student's parent with a written explanation of the reason for the punishment and the name of the other adult who was present.
(2) Teachers and other instructional personnel shall:
(a) Set and enforce reasonable classroom rules that treat all students equitably.
(b) Seek professional development to improve classroom management skills when data show that they are not effective in handling minor classroom disruptions.
(c) Maintain an orderly and disciplined classroom with a positive and effective learning environment that maximizes learning and minimizes disruption.
(d) Work with parents and other school personnel to solve discipline problems in their classrooms.
(3) A teacher may send a student to the principal's office to maintain effective discipline in the classroom and may recommend an appropriate consequence consistent with the student code of conduct under s. 1006.07 The principal shall respond by employing the teacher's recommended consequence or a more serious disciplinary action if the student's history of disruptive behavior warrants it. If the principal determines that a lesser disciplinary action is appropriate, the principal should consult with the teacher prior to taking disciplinary action.
(4) A teacher may remove from class a student whose behavior the teacher determines interferes with the teacher's ability to communicate effectively with the students in the class or with the ability of the student's classmates to learn. Each district school board, each district school superintendent, and each school principal shall support the authority of teachers to remove disobedient, violent, abusive, uncontrollable, or disruptive students from the classroom.
(5) If a teacher removes a student from class under subsection (4), the principal may place the student in another appropriate classroom, in in-school suspension, or in a dropout prevention and academic intervention program as provided by s. 1003.53; or the principal may recommend the student for out-of-school suspension or expulsion, as appropriate. The student may be prohibited from attending or participating in school-sponsored or school-related activities. The principal may not return the student to that teacher's class without the teacher's consent unless the committee established under subsection (6) determines that such placement is the best or only available alternative. The teacher and the placement review committee must render decisions within 5 days of the removal of the student from the classroom.
(6)(a) Each school shall establish a placement review committee to determine placement of a student when a teacher withholds consent to the return of a student to the teacher's class. A school principal must notify each teacher in that school about the availability, the procedures, and the criteria for the placement review committee as outlined in this section.
(b) The principal must report on a quarterly basis to the district school superintendent and district school board each incidence of a teacher's withholding consent for a removed student to return to the teacher's class and the disposition of the incident, and the superintendent must annually report these data to the department.
(c) The Commissioner of Education shall annually review each school district's compliance with this section, and success in achieving orderly classrooms, and shall use all appropriate enforcement actions up to and including the withholding of disbursements from the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund until full compliance is verified.
(d) Placement review committee membership must include at least the following:
1. Two teachers, one selected by the school's faculty and one selected by the teacher who has removed the student.
2. One member from the school's staff who is selected by the principal.
The teacher who withheld consent to readmitting the student may not serve on the committee. The teacher and the placement review committee must render decisions within 5 days after the removal of the student from the classroom. If the placement review committee's decision is contrary to the decision of the teacher to withhold consent to the return of the removed student to the teacher's class, the teacher may appeal the committee's decision to the district school superintendent.
(7) Any teacher who removes 25 percent of his or her total class enrollment shall be required to complete professional development to improve classroom management skills.
(8) Each teacher or other member of the staff of any school who knows or has reason to suspect that any person has committed, or has made a credible threat to commit, a crime of violence on school property shall report such knowledge or suspicion in accordance with the provisions of s. 1006.13 Each district school superintendent and each school principal shall fully support good faith reporting in accordance with the provisions of this subsection and s. 1006.13 Any person who makes a report required by this subsection in good faith shall be immune from civil or criminal liability for making the report.
(9) When knowledgeable of the likely risk of physical violence in the schools, the district school board shall take reasonable steps to ensure that teachers, other school staff, and students are not at undue risk of violence or harm.
History.--s. 127, ch. 2002-387; s. 36, ch. 2003-391.