An act relating to school safety; creating s. 1006.147,
F.S.; providing a short title; prohibiting bullying and
harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12
educational institution; providing definitions; requiring
each school district to adopt a policy prohibiting such
bullying and harassment; requiring that the policy contain
certain minimum components; requiring the Department of
Education to develop a model policy by a certain date;
providing immunity to certain persons who report an act of
bullying or harassment in good faith and in compliance
with the policy; providing limitations on the defense of a
disciplinary action and applicability; requiring the
department's approval of a school district's policy and
compliance with reporting procedures as a prerequisite to
receiving safe schools funds; requiring the Commissioner
of Education to report to the Governor on the
implementation of the act by a certain date; requiring
that such report contain certain data; providing for
construction; providing for severability; 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 employee of a
public K-12 educational institution 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) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Bullying" means systematically and chronically
inflicting physical harm or psychological distress on one or more
students and may involve:
8. Sexual, religious, or racial harassment;
9. Public humiliation; or
10. Destruction of property.
(b) "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 that:
1. Places a student or school employee in reasonable fear
of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;
2. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a
student's educational performance, opportunities, or benefits; or
3. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly
(c) The definitions in s. 815.03 and the definition in s.
784.048(1)(d) relating to stalking are applicable to this
(d) The definitions of "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. Reporting an act of bullying or
harassment that is not made in good faith is considered
2. Perpetuation of conduct listed in paragraph (a) or
paragraph (b) by an individual or group with intent to demean,
dehumanize, embarrass, or cause physical harm to a student or
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 scope of the district school system;
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 of any student or
employee of a public K-12 educational institution. Each school
district's policy shall be in substantial conformity with the
Department of Education's model policy mandated in subsection
(5). The school district bullying and harassment policy shall
afford all students the same protection regardless of their
status under the law. The school district may establish separate
discrimination policies that include categories of students. The
school district shall involve students, parents, teachers,
administrators, school staff, school volunteers, community
representatives, and local law enforcement agencies in the
process of adopting the policy. The school district policy must
be implemented in a manner that is ongoing throughout the school
year and integrated with a school's curriculum, a school's
discipline policies, and other violence-prevention efforts. The
school district policy must contain, at a minimum, the following
(a) A statement prohibiting bullying and harassment.
(b) A definition of bullying and a definition of harassment
that include the definitions listed in this section.
(c) A description of the type of behavior expected from
each student and employee of a public K-12 educational
(d) The consequences for a student or employee of a public
K-12 educational institution who commits an act of bullying or
(e) The consequences for a student or employee of a public
K-12 educational institution who is found to have wrongfully and
intentionally accused another of an act of bullying or
(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
permit formal disciplinary action to be based solely on an
(g) A procedure for the prompt investigation of a report of
bullying or harassment and 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 to investigate whether a reported act of
bullying or harassment is within the scope of the district school
system and, if not, a process for referral of such an act to the
(i) A procedure for providing immediate notification to the
parents of a victim of bullying or harassment and the parents of
the perpetrator of an act of bullying or harassment, as well as
notification to all local agencies where criminal charges may be
pursued against the perpetrator.
(j) A procedure to refer 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 school
safety and discipline required under s. 1006.09(6). 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 that does not meet the criteria of a
prohibited act under this section with recommendations regarding
such incidents. The Department of Education shall aggregate
information contained in the reports.
(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(2) and in all employee handbooks.
(5) To assist school districts in developing policies
prohibiting bullying and harassment, the Department of Education
shall develop a model policy that shall be provided to school
districts no later than October 1, 2008.
(6) 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.
(7)(a) The physical location or time of access of a
computer-related incident cannot be raised as a defense in any
disciplinary action 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.
(8) Distribution of safe schools funds to a school district
provided in the 2009-2010 General Appropriations Act is
contingent upon and payable to the school district upon the
Department of Education's approval of the school district's
bullying and harassment policy. The department's approval of each
school district's bullying and harassment policy shall be granted
upon certification by the department that the school district's
policy has been submitted to the department and is in substantial
conformity with the department's model bullying and harassment
policy as mandated in subsection (5). Distribution of safe
schools funds provided to a school district in the 2010 2011
fiscal year and thereafter is contingent upon and payable to the
school district upon the school district's compliance with all
reporting procedures contained in this section.
(9) On or before January 1 of each year, the Commissioner
of Education shall report to the Governor, the President of the
Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the
implementation of this section. The report shall include data
collected pursuant to paragraph (4)(k).
(10) This section does not abridge the rights of students
or school employees which are protected by the First Amendment to
the Constitution of the United States.
Section 2. If any provision of this act or the application
thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the
invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of
the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision
or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.