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Florida Senate - 2008 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT

Bill No. SB 790

754950

CHAMBER ACTION

Senate

Comm: RCS

4/8/2008

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House



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The Committee on Criminal Justice (King) recommended the

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following amendment:

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     Senate Amendment (with title amendment)

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     Delete everything after the enacting clause

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and insert:

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     Section 1.  Section 1006.147, Florida Statutes, is created

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to read:

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     1006.147 Bullying and harassment prohibited.--

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     (1) This section may be cited as the "Jeffrey Johnston

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Stand Up for All Students Act."

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     (2) Bullying or harassment of any student or employee of a

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public K-12 educational institution is prohibited:

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     (a) During any education program or activity conducted by a

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public K-12 educational institution;

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     (b) During any school-related or school-sponsored program

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or activity or on a school bus of a public K-12 educational

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institution; or

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     (c) Through the use of data or computer software that is

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accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network

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of a public K-12 educational institution.

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     (3) For purposes of this section:

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     (a) "Bullying" means systematically and chronically

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inflicting physical harm or psychological distress on one or more

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students and may involve:

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     1. Teasing;

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     2. Social exclusion;

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     3. Threat;

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     4. Intimidation;

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     5. Stalking;

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     6. Physical violence;

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     7. Theft;

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     8. Sexual, religious, or racial harassment;

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     9. Public humiliation; or

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     10. Destruction of property.

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     (b) "Harassment" means any threatening, insulting, or

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dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or

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written, verbal, or physical conduct directed against a student

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or school employee that:

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     1. Places a student or school employee in reasonable fear

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of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;

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     2. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a

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student's educational performance, opportunities, or benefits; or

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     3. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly

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operation of a school.

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     (c) The definitions in s. 815.03 and the definition in s.

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784.048(1)(d) relating to stalking are applicable to this

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section.

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     (d) The definitions of "bullying" and "harassment" include:

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     1. Retaliation against a student or school employee by

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another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an

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act of bullying or harassment. Reporting an act of bullying or

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harassment that is not made in good faith is considered

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retaliation.

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     2. Perpetuation of conduct listed in paragraph (a) or

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paragraph (b) by an individual or group with intent to demean,

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dehumanize, embarrass, or cause physical harm to a student or

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school employee by:

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     a. Incitement or coercion;

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     b. Accessing or knowingly causing or providing access to

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data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or

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computer network within the scope of the district school system;

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or

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     c. Acting in a manner that has an effect substantially

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similar to the effect of bullying or harassment.

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     (4) By December 1, 2008, each school district shall adopt a

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policy prohibiting bullying and harassment of any student or

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employee of a public K-12 educational institution. Each school

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district's policy shall be in substantial conformity with the

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Department of Education's model policy mandated in subsection

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(5). The school district bullying and harassment policy shall

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afford all students the same protection regardless of their

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status under the law. The school district may establish separate

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discrimination policies that include categories of students. The

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school district shall involve students, parents, teachers,

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administrators, school staff, school volunteers, community

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representatives, and local law enforcement agencies in the

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process of adopting the policy. The school district policy must

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be implemented in a manner that is ongoing throughout the school

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year and integrated with a school's curriculum, a school's

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discipline policies, and other violence-prevention efforts. The

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school district policy must contain, at a minimum, the following

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components:

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     (a) A statement prohibiting bullying and harassment.

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     (b) A definition of bullying and a definition of harassment

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that include the definitions listed in this section.

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     (c) A description of the type of behavior expected from

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each student and employee of a public K-12 educational

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institution.

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     (d) The consequences for a student or employee of a public

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K-12 educational institution who commits an act of bullying or

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harassment.

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     (e) The consequences for a student or employee of a public

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K-12 educational institution who is found to have wrongfully and

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intentionally accused another of an act of bullying or

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harassment.

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     (f) A procedure for reporting an act of bullying or

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harassment, including provisions that permit a person to

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anonymously report such an act. However, this paragraph does not

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permit formal disciplinary action to be based solely on an

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anonymous report.

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     (g) A procedure for the prompt investigation of a report of

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bullying or harassment and the persons responsible for the

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investigation. The investigation of a reported act of bullying or

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harassment is deemed to be a school-related activity and begins

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with a report of such an act.

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     (h) A process to investigate whether a reported act of

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bullying or harassment is within the scope of the district school

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system and, if not, a process for referral of such an act to the

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appropriate jurisdiction.

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     (i) A procedure for providing immediate notification to the

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parents of a victim of bullying or harassment and the parents of

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the perpetrator of an act of bullying or harassment, as well as

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notification to all local agencies where criminal charges may be

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pursued against the perpetrator.

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     (j) A procedure to refer victims and perpetrators of

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bullying or harassment for counseling.

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     (k) A procedure for including incidents of bullying or

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harassment in the school's report of data concerning school

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safety and discipline required under s. 1006.09(6). The report

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must include each incident of bullying or harassment and the

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resulting consequences, including discipline and referrals. The

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report must include in a separate section each reported incident

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of bullying or harassment that does not meet the criteria of a

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prohibited act under this section with recommendations regarding

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such incidents. The Department of Education shall aggregate

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information contained in the reports.

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     (l) A procedure for providing instruction to students,

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parents, teachers, school administrators, counseling staff, and

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school volunteers on identifying, preventing, and responding to

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bullying or harassment.

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     (m) A procedure for regularly reporting to a victim's

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parents the actions taken to protect the victim.

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     (n) A procedure for publicizing the policy, which must

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include its publication in the code of student conduct required

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under s. 1006.07(2) and in all employee handbooks.

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     (5) To assist school districts in developing policies

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prohibiting bullying and harassment, the Department of Education

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shall develop a model policy that shall be provided to school

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districts no later than October 1, 2008.

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     (6) A school employee, school volunteer, student, or parent

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who promptly reports in good faith an act of bullying or

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harassment to the appropriate school official designated in the

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school district's policy and who makes this report in compliance

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with the procedures set forth in the policy is immune from a

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cause of action for damages arising out of the reporting itself

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or any failure to remedy the reported incident.

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     (7)(a) The physical location or time of access of a

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computer-related incident cannot be raised as a defense in any

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disciplinary action initiated under this section.

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     (b) This section does not apply to any person who uses data

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or computer software that is accessed through a computer,

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computer system, or computer network when acting within the scope

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of his or her lawful employment or investigating a violation of

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this section in accordance with school district policy.

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     (8) Distribution of safe schools funds to a school district

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provided in the 2009-2010 General Appropriations Act is

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contingent upon and payable to the school district upon the

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Department of Education's approval of the school district's

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bullying and harassment policy. The department's approval of each

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school district's bullying and harassment policy shall be granted

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upon certification by the department that the school district's

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policy has been submitted to the department and is in substantial

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conformity with the department's model bullying and harassment

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policy as mandated in subsection (5). Distribution of safe

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schools funds provided to a school district in the 2010 2011

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fiscal year and thereafter is contingent upon and payable to the

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school district upon the school district's compliance with all

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reporting procedures contained in this section.

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     (9) On or before January 1 of each year, the Commissioner

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of Education shall report to the Governor, the President of the

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Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the

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implementation of this section. The report shall include data

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collected pursuant to paragraph (4)(k).

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     (10) This section does not abridge the rights of students

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or school employees which are protected by the First Amendment to

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the Constitution of the United States.

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     Section 2. If any provision of this act or the application

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thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the

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invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of

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the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision

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or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are

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severable.

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     Section 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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================ T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================

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And the title is amended as follows:

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     Delete everything before the enacting clause

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and insert:

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A bill to be entitled

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An act relating to school safety; creating s. 1006.147,

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F.S.; providing a short title; prohibiting bullying and

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harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12

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educational institution; providing definitions; requiring

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each school district to adopt a policy prohibiting such

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bullying and harassment; requiring that the policy contain

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certain minimum components; requiring the Department of

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Education to develop a model policy by a certain date;

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providing immunity to certain persons who report an act of

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bullying or harassment in good faith and in compliance

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with the policy; providing limitations on the defense of a

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disciplinary action and applicability; requiring the

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department's approval of a school district's policy and

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compliance with reporting procedures as a prerequisite to

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receiving safe schools funds; requiring the Commissioner

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of Education to report to the Governor on the

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implementation of the act by a certain date; requiring

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that such report contain certain data; providing for

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construction; providing for severability; providing an

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effective date.

4/7/2008  6:16:00 PM     8-06858-08

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.

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