Florida Senate - 2016 SB 268 By Senator Ring 29-00417-16 2016268__ 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 policy at specified intervals; requiring schools to 6 implement the bullying and harassment policy in a 7 certain manner and integrate it with the school’s 8 bullying prevention and intervention program; 9 requiring the policy to include mandatory reporting 10 procedures and a list of authorized programs that 11 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 at least 21 every 3 years a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment of a 22 student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution. 23 Each school district’s policy shall be in substantial conformity 24 with the Department of Education’s model policy. The school 25 district bullying and harassment policy shall afford all 26 students the same protection regardless of their status under 27 the law. The school district may establish separate 28 discrimination policies that include categories of students. The 29 school district shall involve students, parents, teachers, 30 administrators, school staff, school volunteers, community 31 representatives, and local law enforcement agencies in the 32 process of adopting and revising the policy. The school district 33 policy must require a school to implement the policy
be34 implementedin a manner that is ongoing throughout the school 35 year and integrated with a school’s curriculum, a school’s 36 bullying prevention and intervention program, a school’s 37 discipline policies, and other violence prevention efforts. The 38 school district policy must contain, at a minimum, the following 39 components: 40 (a) A statement prohibiting bullying and harassment. 41 (b) A definition of bullying and a definition of harassment 42 that include the definitions listed in this section. 43 (c) A description of the type of behavior expected from 44 each student and employee of a public K-12 educational 45 institution. 46 (d) The consequences for a student or employee of a public 47 K-12 educational institution who commits an act of bullying or 48 harassment. 49 (e) The consequences for a student or employee of a public 50 K-12 educational institution who is found to have wrongfully and 51 intentionally accused another of an act of bullying or 52 harassment. 53 (f) A procedure for the mandatory reporting of an act of 54 bullying or harassment, including provisions that permit a 55 person to anonymously report such an act. However, this 56 paragraph does not permit formal disciplinary action to be based 57 solely on an anonymous report. 58 (g) A procedure for the prompt investigation of a report of 59 bullying or harassment and the persons responsible for the 60 investigation. The investigation of a reported act of bullying 61 or harassment is deemed to be a school-related activity and 62 begins with a report of such an act. Incidents that require a 63 reasonable investigation when reported to appropriate school 64 authorities shall include alleged incidents of bullying or 65 harassment allegedly committed against a child while the child 66 is en route to school aboard a school bus or at a school bus 67 stop. 68 (h) A process to investigate whether a reported act of 69 bullying or harassment is within the scope of the district 70 school system and, if not, a process for referral of such an act 71 to the appropriate jurisdiction. Computers without web-filtering 72 software or computers with web-filtering software that is 73 disabled shall be used when complaints of cyberbullying are 74 investigated. 75 (i) A procedure for providing immediate notification to the 76 parents of a victim of bullying or harassment and the parents of 77 the perpetrator of an act of bullying or harassment, as well as 78 notification to all local agencies where criminal charges may be 79 pursued against the perpetrator. 80 (j) A procedure to refer victims and perpetrators of 81 bullying or harassment for counseling. 82 (k) A procedure for including incidents of bullying or 83 harassment in the school’s report of data concerning school 84 safety and discipline required under s. 1006.09(6). The report 85 must include each incident of bullying or harassment and the 86 resulting consequences, including discipline and referrals. The 87 report must include in a separate section each reported incident 88 of bullying or harassment that does not meet the criteria of a 89 prohibited act under this section with recommendations regarding 90 such incidents. The Department of Education shall aggregate 91 information contained in the reports. 92 (l) A list of programs authorized by the school district 93 which provide procedure for providinginstruction to students, 94 parents, teachers, school administrators, counseling staff, and 95 school volunteers on identifying, preventing, and responding to 96 bullying or harassment, including instruction on recognizing 97 behaviors that lead to bullying and harassment and taking 98 appropriate preventive action based on those observations. 99 (m) A procedure for regularly reporting to a victim’s 100 parents the actions taken to protect the victim. 101 (n) A procedure for publicizing the policy, which must 102 include its publication in the code of student conduct required 103 under s. 1006.07(2) and in all employee handbooks. 104 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.