For the protection and safety of school personnel, property, students, and visitors, each district school board and school district superintendent shall partner with law enforcement agencies or security agencies to establish or assign one or more safe-school officers at each school facility within the district, including charter schools. A district school board must collaborate with charter school governing boards to facilitate charter school access to all safe-school officer options available under this section. The school district may implement any combination of the options in subsections (1)-(4) to best meet the needs of the school district and charter schools. (1) SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER.—A school district may establish school resource officer programs through a cooperative agreement with law enforcement agencies. (a) School resource officers shall undergo criminal background checks, drug testing, and a psychological evaluation and be certified law enforcement officers, as defined in s. 943.10(1), who are employed by a law enforcement agency as defined in s. 943.10(4). The powers and duties of a law enforcement officer shall continue throughout the employee’s tenure as a school resource officer.
(b) School resource officers shall abide by district school board policies and shall consult with and coordinate activities through the school principal, but shall be responsible to the law enforcement agency in all matters relating to employment, subject to agreements between a district school board and a law enforcement agency. Activities conducted by the school resource officer which are part of the regular instructional program of the school shall be under the direction of the school principal.
(2) SCHOOL SAFETY OFFICER.—A school district may commission one or more school safety officers for the protection and safety of school personnel, property, and students within the school district. The district school superintendent may recommend, and the district school board may appoint, one or more school safety officers. (a) School safety officers shall undergo criminal background checks, drug testing, and a psychological evaluation and be law enforcement officers, as defined in s. 943.10(1), certified under chapter 943 and employed by either a law enforcement agency or by the district school board. If the officer is employed by the district school board, the district school board is the employing agency for purposes of chapter 943, and must comply with that chapter.
(b) A school safety officer has and shall exercise the power to make arrests for violations of law on district school board property or on property owned or leased by a charter school under a charter contract, as applicable, and to arrest persons, whether on or off such property, who violate any law on such property under the same conditions that deputy sheriffs are authorized to make arrests. A school safety officer has the authority to carry weapons when performing his or her official duties.
(c) School safety officers must complete mental health crisis intervention training using a curriculum developed by a national organization with expertise in mental health crisis intervention. The training shall improve officers’ knowledge and skills as first responders to incidents involving students with emotional disturbance or mental illness, including de-escalation skills to ensure student and officer safety.
(d) A district school board may enter into mutual aid agreements with one or more law enforcement agencies as provided in chapter 23. A school safety officer’s salary may be paid jointly by the district school board and the law enforcement agency, as mutually agreed to.
(3) SCHOOL GUARDIAN.—At the school district’s or the charter school governing board’s discretion, as applicable, pursuant to s. 30.15, a school district or charter school governing board may participate in the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program to meet the requirement of establishing a safe-school officer. The following individuals may serve as a school guardian, in support of school-sanctioned activities for purposes of s. 790.115, upon satisfactory completion of the requirements under s. 30.15(1)(k) and certification by a sheriff: (a) A school district employee or personnel, as defined under s. 1012.01, or a charter school employee, as provided under s. 1002.33(12)(a), who volunteers to serve as a school guardian in addition to his or her official job duties; or
(b) An employee of a school district or a charter school who is hired for the specific purpose of serving as a school guardian.
(4) SCHOOL SECURITY GUARD.—A school district or charter school governing board may contract with a security agency as defined in s. 493.6101(18) to employ as a school security guard an individual who holds a Class “D” and Class “G” license pursuant to chapter 493, provided the following training and contractual conditions are met: (a) An individual who serves as a school security guard, for purposes of satisfying the requirements of this section, must: 1. Demonstrate completion of 144 hours of required training pursuant to s. 30.15(1)(k)2.
2. Pass a psychological evaluation administered by a psychologist licensed under chapter 490 and designated by the Department of Law Enforcement and submit the results of the evaluation to the sheriff’s office, school district, or charter school governing board, as applicable. The Department of Law Enforcement is authorized to provide the sheriff’s office, school district, or charter school governing board with mental health and substance abuse data for compliance with this paragraph.
3. Submit to and pass an initial drug test and subsequent random drug tests in accordance with the requirements of s. 112.0455 and the sheriff’s office, school district, or charter school governing board, as applicable.
4. Successfully complete ongoing training, weapon inspection, and firearm qualification on at least an annual basis and provide documentation to the sheriff’s office, school district, or charter school governing board, as applicable.
(b) The contract between a security agency and a school district or a charter school governing board regarding requirements applicable to school security guards serving in the capacity of a safe-school officer for purposes of satisfying the requirements of this section shall define the entity or entities responsible for training and the responsibilities for maintaining records relating to training, inspection, and firearm qualification.
(c) School security guards serving in the capacity of a safe-school officer pursuant to this subsection are in support of school-sanctioned activities for purposes of s. 790.115, and must aid in the prevention or abatement of active assailant incidents on school premises. (5) NOTIFICATION.—The district school superintendent or charter school administrator, or a respective designee, shall notify the county sheriff and the Office of Safe Schools immediately after, but no later than 72 hours after:
(a) A safe-school officer is dismissed for misconduct or is otherwise disciplined.
(b) A safe-school officer discharges his or her firearm in the exercise of the safe-school officer’s duties, other than for training purposes.
(6) CRISIS INTERVENTION TRAINING.—
(a) Each safe-school officer who is also a sworn law enforcement officer shall complete mental health crisis intervention training using a curriculum developed by a national organization with expertise in mental health crisis intervention. The training must improve the officer’s knowledge and skills as a first responder to incidents involving students with emotional disturbance or mental illness, including de-escalation skills to ensure student and officer safety.
(b) Each safe-school officer who is not a sworn law enforcement officer shall receive training to improve the officer’s knowledge and skills necessary to respond to and de-escalate incidents on school premises.
(7) LIMITATIONS.—An individual must satisfy the background screening, psychological evaluation, and drug test requirements and be approved by the sheriff before participating in any training required by s. 30.15(1)(k), which may be conducted only by a sheriff. (8) EXEMPTION.—Any information that would identify whether a particular individual has been appointed as a safe-school officer pursuant to this section held by a law enforcement agency, school district, or charter school is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This subsection is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2023, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
If a district school board, through its adopted policies, procedures, or actions, denies a charter school access to any safe-school officer options pursuant to this section, the school district must assign a school resource officer or school safety officer to the charter school. Under such circumstances, the charter school’s share of the costs of the school resource officer or school safety officer may not exceed the safe school allocation funds provided to the charter school pursuant to s. 1011.62(12) and shall be retained by the school district.