An act relating to school safety; creating s. 1006.147,
F.S.; providing a short title; prohibiting bullying or
harassment during education programs or activities, on
school buses, or through use of data or computer software
accessed through computer systems of certain educational
institutions; providing definitions; requiring each school
district to adopt a policy prohibiting such bullying and
harassment; providing minimum requirements for the
contents of the policy; providing immunity for certain
actions; providing restrictions with respect to defenses
that may be raised and the application of the act;
providing for construction of the act; providing an
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Section 1006.147, Florida Statutes, is created
1006.147 Bullying and harassment prohibited.--
(1) This section may be cited as the "Jeffrey Johnston
Stand Up for All Students Act."
(2) Bullying or harassment of any student or school
employee is prohibited:
(a) During any education program or activity conducted by a
public K-12 educational institution;
(b) During any school-related or school-sponsored program
or activity or on a school bus of a public K-12 educational
(c) Through the use of data or computer software that is
accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network
of a public K-12 educational institution.
(3)(a) As used in this section, the term:
1. "Bullying" means systematically and chronically
inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more
students and may involve:
h. Sexual, religious, or racial harassment;
i. Public humiliation; or
j. Destruction of property.
2. "Harassment" means any threatening, insulting, or
dehumanizing gesture; use of data or computer software; or
written, verbal, or physical conduct directed against a student
or school employee which:
a. Places the student or school employee in reasonable fear
of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;
b. Has the effect of substantially interfering with the
student's educational performance, opportunities, or benefits; or
c. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly
(b) The definitions in s. 815.03 relating to computer
crimes and s. 784.048 relating to stalking apply to this section.
(c) The terms "bullying" and "harassment" include:
1. Retaliation against a student or school employee by
another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an
act of bullying or harassment. A report of an act of bullying or
harassment which is not made in good faith is retaliation.
2. Perpetuation of conduct listed in paragraph (a) by an
individual or group with the intent to demean, dehumanize,
embarrass, or cause physical harm to a student or school employee
a. Incitement or coercion;
b. Accessing or knowingly causing or providing access to
data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or
computer network within the district school system; or
c. Acting in a manner that has an effect substantially
similar to the effect of bullying or harassment.
(4) By December 1, 2008, each school district shall adopt a
policy prohibiting bullying and harassment on school property, at
a school-related or school-sponsored program or activity, on a
school bus, or through the use of data or computer software that
is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer
network within the district school system. Each school district's
policy prohibiting bullying and harassment shall afford all
students the same protection regardless of their status under the
law. A school district may establish separate discrimination
policies that include categories of students. Each school
district shall involve students, parents, teachers,
administrators, school staff members, school volunteers,
community representatives, and local law enforcement agencies in
the process of adopting the policy. Each school district's policy
must be implemented in a manner that is ongoing throughout the
school year and integrated with the school's curriculum, the
school's discipline policies, and other violence-prevention
efforts. Each school district's policy must contain, at a
(a) A statement prohibiting bullying and harassment.
(b) A definition of bullying and a definition of
(c) A description of the type of behavior expected from
each student and school employee.
(d) The consequences for a person who commits an act of
bullying or harassment.
(e) The consequences for a person who is found to have
wrongfully and intentionally accused another of an act of
bullying or harassment.
(f) A procedure for reporting an act of bullying or
harassment, including provisions that permit a person to
anonymously report such an act. However, this paragraph does not
authorize formal disciplinary action solely on the basis of an
(g) A procedure for promptly investigating a report of
bullying or harassment and designating the persons responsible
for the investigation. The investigation of a reported act of
bullying or harassment is deemed to be a school-related activity
and begins with a report of such an act.
(h) A process for investigating whether a reported act of
bullying or harassment is within the jurisdiction of the district
school system and, if not, a process for referring such an act to
the appropriate jurisdiction.
(i) A procedure for providing to the parents of a victim of
bullying or harassment immediate notice of all local agencies
where criminal charges may be pursued against the perpetrator.
(j) A procedure for referring victims and perpetrators of
bullying or harassment for counseling.
(k) A procedure for including incidents of bullying or
harassment in the school's report of data concerning safety and
discipline required under s. 1006.09. The report must include
each incident of bullying or harassment and the resulting
consequences, including discipline and referrals. The report must
include in a separate section each reported incident of bullying
or harassment which does not meet the criteria of a prohibited
act under this section, with recommendations regarding such
(l) A procedure for providing instruction to students,
parents, teachers, school administrators, counseling staff, and
school volunteers on identifying, preventing, and responding to
bullying or harassment.
(m) A procedure for regularly reporting to a victim's
parents the actions taken to protect the victim.
(n) A procedure for publicizing the policy, which must
include its publication in the code of student conduct required
under s. 1006.07 and in the employee handbook of each school.
(5) A school employee, school volunteer, student, or parent
who promptly reports in good faith an act of bullying or
harassment to the appropriate school official designated in the
school district's policy and who makes this report in compliance
with the procedures set forth in the policy is immune from a
cause of action for damages arising out of the reporting itself
or any failure to remedy the reported incident.
(6)(a) The physical location or time of access of a
computer-related incident may not be raised as a defense in any
disciplinary action or prosecution initiated under this section.
(b) This section does not apply to any person who uses data
or computer software that is accessed through a computer,
computer system, or computer network when acting within the scope
of his or her lawful employment or investigating a violation of
this section in accordance with school district policy.
(7) This section does not abridge the rights of students or
school employees which are protected by the First Amendment to
the United States Constitution.
Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.