State law requires districts to develop school emergency operations plans (EOPs) that include procedures for plan review and update.
Florida Statutes 1001.43 Supplemental powers and duties of district school board.
The district school board may exercise the following supplemental powers and duties as authorized by this code or State Board of Education rule. (7) FIRST AID AND EMERGENCIES.—The district school board may adopt programs and policies to ensure appropriate response in emergency situations; the provision of first aid to individuals, the student body, and school personnel; and the effective management of student illness, which programs and policies may include, but are not limited to:
- (a) The provision of first aid and emergency medical care and the provision of school health care facilities and services.
- (b) The provision of school safety patrol.
- (c) Procedures for reporting hazards, including threats of nature, bomb threats, threatening messages, and similar occurrences, and the provision of warning systems including alarm systems and other technical devices.
- (d) Procedures for evacuating the classrooms, playground, or any other district facility.
- (e) Procedures for reporting accidents, including traffic accidents and traffic violations involving district-owned vehicles.
- (f) Student insurance programs.
Florida Statutes 1006.07 District school board duties relating to student discipline and school safety.
The district school board shall provide for the proper accounting for all students, for the attendance and control of students at school, and for proper attention to health, safety, and other matters relating to the welfare of students, including:
(4) Emergency drills; emergency procedures.
(a) Formulate and prescribe policies and procedures, in consultation with the appropriate public safety agencies, for emergency drills and for actual emergencies, including, but not limited to, fires, natural disasters, active shooter and hostage situations, and bomb threats, for all students and faculty at all public schools of the district comprised of grades K-12. Drills for active shooter and hostage situations shall be conducted in accordance with developmentally appropriate and age-appropriate procedures at least as often as other emergency drills. District school board policies shall include commonly used alarm system responses for specific types of emergencies and verification by each school that drills have been provided as required by law and fire protection codes. The emergency response policy shall identify the individuals responsible for contacting the primary emergency response agency and the emergency response agency that is responsible for notifying the school district for each type of emergency.
(b) Establish model emergency management and emergency preparedness procedures, including emergency notification procedures pursuant to paragraph (a), for the following life-threatening emergencies:
Weapon-use, hostage, and active shooter situations. The active shooter situation training for each school must engage the participation of the district school safety specialist, threat assessment team members, faculty, staff, and students and must be conducted by the law enforcement agency or agencies that are designated as first responders to the school’s campus.
Hazardous materials or toxic chemical spills.
Weather emergencies, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe storms.
Exposure as a result of a manmade emergency.
(c) Establish a schedule to test the functionality and coverage capacity of all emergency communication systems and determine if adequate signal strength is available in all areas of the school’s campus. [...] (6) Safety and security best practices. — Each district school superintendent shall establish policies and procedures for the prevention of violence on school grounds, including the assessment of and intervention with individuals whose behavior poses a threat to the safety of the school community.
(a) Each district school superintendent shall designate a school safety specialist for the district. The school safety specialist must be a school administrator employed by the school district or a law enforcement officer employed by the sheriff’s office located in the school district. Any school safety specialist designated from the sheriff’s office must first be authorized and approved by the sheriff employing the law enforcement officer. Any school safety specialist designated from the sheriff’s office remains the employee of the office for purposes of compensation, insurance, workers’ compensation, and other benefits authorized by law for a law enforcement officer employed by the sheriff’s office. The sheriff and the school superintendent may determine by agreement the reimbursement for such costs, or may share the costs, associated with employment of the law enforcement officer as a school safety specialist. The school safety specialist must earn a certificate of completion of the school safety specialist training provided by the Office of Safe Schools within 1 year after appointment and is responsible for the supervision and oversight for all school safety and security personnel, policies, and procedures in the school district. The school safety specialist shall:
Review school district policies and procedures for compliance with state law and rules, including the district’s timely and accurate submission of school environmental safety incident reports to the department pursuant to s. 1001.212(8).
Provide the necessary training and resources to students and school district staff in matters relating to youth mental health awareness and assistance; emergency procedures, including active shooter training; and school safety and security.
Serve as the school district liaison with local public safety agencies and national, state, and community agencies and organizations in matters of school safety and security.
In collaboration with the appropriate public safety agencies, as that term is defined in s. 365.171, by October 1 of each year, conduct a school security risk assessment at each public school using the Florida Safe Schools Assessment Tool developed by the Office of Safe Schools pursuant to s. 1006.1493. Based on the assessment findings, the district’s school safety specialist shall provide recommendations to the district school superintendent and the district school board which identify strategies and activities that the district school board should implement in order to address the findings and improve school safety and security. Each district school board must receive such findings and the school safety specialist’s recommendations at a publicly noticed district school board meeting to provide the public an opportunity to hear the district school board members discuss and take action on the findings and recommendations. Each school safety specialist shall report such findings and school board action to the Office of Safe Schools within 30 days after the district school board meeting.
School District Emergency Management Plan Criteria
This document describes the criteria for school district emergency management plans.
Statewide Policy for Strengthening Domestic Security in Florida’s Public Schools
This policy provides guidance to school districts in terms of terrorism protection procedures to help public schools prevent, prepare for, and respond to possible terrorist attacks.