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.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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 be
   34  implemented in 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 providing instruction 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.