Section 230.23185, Florida Statutes 2001
230.23185 Statewide crime watch program.--
(1) There may be created a statewide crime watch program in the public schools for the purpose of reducing student actions that are in violation of the code of student conduct. The goal of the program is to develop a crime watch program in each elementary school, middle school or junior high school, and high school. The Department of Education may establish for the program criteria that include:
(a) Student involvement at each school in the design and implementation of the program.
(b) A competitive focus with statewide recognition and awards given to schools with the most effective programs in each school district.
(2) A toll-free school safety hotline may be created and maintained to provide an avenue for students to report criminal activity, such as violations of the code of student conduct, and to enhance the safety and welfare of students, faculty, and staff.
(3)(a) Each school in the state must strive to provide crime-free and drug-free environments for learning, instill positive values, foster good citizenship, and build confidence in students.
(b) Each school is encouraged to provide drug-prevention and crime-prevention education, communication and reporting systems, student patrols, student mentoring programs, school bus safety projects, conflict resolution training, and student action projects.
(4)(a) The department may contract with the Florida Sheriffs Association to establish and operate a statewide toll-free school safety hotline for the purpose of reporting incidents that affect the safety and well-being of the school's population.
(b) The toll-free school safety hotline is to be a conduit for any person to anonymously report activity that affects the safety and well-being of the school's population.
(c) There may not be an award or monetary benefit for reporting an incident through the toll-free school safety hotline.
(d) The toll-free school safety hotline shall be operated in a manner that ensures that a designated school official is notified of a complaint received through the hotline if the complaint concerns that school. A complaint that concerns an actionable offense must be reported to the designated official within a reasonable time after the complaint is made. An actionable offense is an incident that could directly affect the safety or well-being of a person or property within a school.
(e) If a toll-free school safety hotline is established by contract with the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Sheriffs Association shall produce a quarterly report that evaluates the incidents that have been reported to the hotline. This information may be used to evaluate future school safety educational needs and the need for prevention programs as the school board considers necessary.
History.--s. 2, ch. 95-164; s. 5, ch. 96-276.