Florida - Limits on Exclusionary Discipline: Prohibitions or Restrictions

Area: 
Prohibitions Or Restrictions
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law discourages district use of zero tolerance approaches andencourages school administrator discretion in determining sanctions for violations of school policy.

Florida Statutes 1006.13 Policy of zero tolerance for crime and victimization.

(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote a safe and supportive learning environment in schools, to protect students and staff from conduct that poses a serious threat to school safety, and to encourage schools to use alternatives to expulsion or referral to law enforcement agencies by addressing disruptive behavior through restitution, civil citation, teen court, neighborhood restorative justice, or similar programs. The Legislature finds that zero-tolerance policies are not intended to be rigorously applied to petty acts of misconduct and misdemeanors, including, but not limited to, minor fights or disturbances. The Legislature finds that zero-tolerance policies must apply equally to all students regardless of their economic status, race, or disability.

(2) Each district school board shall adopt a policy of zero tolerance that:

  • (a) Defines criteria for reporting to a law enforcement agency any act that occurs whenever or wherever students are within the jurisdiction of the district school board.
  • (b) Defines acts that pose a serious threat to school safety.
  • (c) Defines petty acts of misconduct.
  • (d) Minimizes the victimization of students, staff, or volunteers, including taking all steps necessary to protect the victim of any violent crime from any further victimization.
  • (e) Establishes a procedure that provides each student with the opportunity for a review of the disciplinary action imposed pursuant to s. 1006.07.

(3) Zero-tolerance policies must require students found to have committed one of the following offenses to be expelled, with or without continuing educational services, from the student's regular school for a period of not less than 1 full year, and to be referred to the criminal justice or juvenile justice system.

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