Section 232.26, Florida Statutes 2001
232.26 Authority of principal.--
(1)(a) Subject to law and to the rules of the state board and the district school board, the principal in charge of the school or the principal's designee shall develop policies for delegating to any teacher or other member of the instructional staff or to any bus driver transporting students of the school responsibility for the control and direction of students. The principal or the principal's designee shall consider the recommendation for discipline made by a teacher, other member of the instructional staff, or a bus driver when making a decision regarding student referral for discipline.
(b) The principal or the principal's designee may suspend a student only in accordance with the rules of the district school board. The principal or the principal's designee shall make a good faith effort to immediately inform a student's parent or guardian by telephone of a student's suspension and the reasons for the suspension. Each suspension and the reasons for the suspension shall be reported in writing within 24 hours to the student's parent or guardian by United States mail. Each suspension and the reasons for the suspension shall also be reported in writing within 24 hours to the superintendent. A good faith effort shall be made by the principal or the principal's designee to employ parental assistance or other alternative measures prior to suspension, except in the case of emergency or disruptive conditions which require immediate suspension or in the case of a serious breach of conduct as defined by rules of the district school board. Such rules shall require oral and written notice to the student of the charges and an explanation of the evidence against him or her prior to the suspension. Each student shall be given an opportunity to present his or her side of the story. No student shall be suspended for unexcused tardiness, lateness, absence, or truancy. The principal or the principal's designee may suspend any student transported to or from school at the public expense from the privilege of riding on a school bus for violation of school board transportation policies, which shall include a policy regarding behavior at school bus stops, and the principal or the principal's designee shall give notice in writing to the student's parent or guardian and to the superintendent within 24 hours. School personnel shall not be held legally responsible for suspensions of students made in good faith.
(c) The principal or the principal's designee may recommend to the superintendent the expulsion of any student who has committed a serious breach of conduct, including, but not limited to, willful disobedience, open defiance of authority of a member of his or her staff, violence against persons or property, or any other act which substantially disrupts the orderly conduct of the school. A recommendation of expulsion or assignment to a second chance school may also be made for any student found to have intentionally made false accusations that jeopardize the professional reputation, employment, or professional certification of a teacher or other member of the school staff, according to the school district code of student conduct. Any recommendation of expulsion shall include a detailed report by the principal or the principal's designated representative on the alternative measures taken prior to the recommendation of expulsion.
(d) The principal or the principal's designee shall include an analysis of suspensions and expulsions in the annual report of school progress.
(2) Suspension proceedings, pursuant to rules of the State Board of Education, may be initiated against any pupil enrolled as a student who is formally charged with a felony, or with a delinquent act which would be a felony if committed by an adult, by a proper prosecuting attorney for an incident which allegedly occurred on property other than public school property, if that incident is shown, in an administrative hearing with notice provided to the parents or legal guardian or custodian of such pupil by the principal of the school pursuant to rules promulgated by the State Board of Education and to rules developed pursuant to s. 231.085, to have an adverse impact on the educational program, discipline, or welfare in the school in which the student is enrolled. Any pupil who is suspended as the result of such proceedings may be suspended from all classes of instruction on public school grounds during regular classroom hours for a period of time, which may exceed 10 days, as determined by the superintendent. Such suspension shall not affect the delivery of educational services to the pupil, and the pupil shall be immediately enrolled in a daytime alternative education program, or an evening alternative education program, where appropriate. If the court determines that the pupil did commit the felony or delinquent act which would have been a felony if committed by an adult, the school board shall have the authority to expel the student, provided that expulsion under this subsection shall not affect the delivery of educational services to the pupil in any residential, nonresidential, alternative, daytime, or evening program outside of the regular school setting. Any pupil who is subject to discipline or expulsion for unlawful possession or use of any substance controlled under chapter 893 may be entitled to a waiver of the discipline or expulsion:
(a) If the pupil divulges information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who supplied such controlled substance to him or her, or if the pupil voluntarily discloses his or her unlawful possession of such controlled substance prior to his or her arrest. Any information divulged which leads to such arrest and conviction is not admissible in evidence in a subsequent criminal trial against the pupil divulging such information.
(b) If the pupil commits himself or herself, or is referred by the court in lieu of sentence, to a state-licensed drug abuse program and successfully completes the program.
(3) A pupil may be disciplined or expelled for unlawful possession or use of any substance controlled under chapter 893 upon the third violation of this provision.
(4) Any recommendation for the suspension or expulsion of a student with a disability shall be made in accordance with rules adopted by the State Board of Education.
History.--s. 626, ch. 19355, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 892(197); s. 15, ch. 63-376; s. 1, ch. 69-300; s. 1, ch. 72-381; s. 1, ch. 73-162; s. 16, ch. 73-331; s. 77, ch. 73-333; s. 4, ch. 76-236; s. 68, ch. 77-104; s. 1, ch. 82-216; s. 1, ch. 84-242; s. 49, ch. 85-80; s. 10, ch. 87-243; s. 11, ch. 90-208; s. 38, ch. 90-288; s. 39, ch. 91-105; s. 1, ch. 92-74; s. 139, ch. 94-209; s. 1544, ch. 95-147; s. 3, ch. 96-246; s. 16, ch. 96-369; s. 15, ch. 2000-235.