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8405 - School Safety

The Board is committed to maintaining a safe and drug-free environment in all of the District’s schools. The Board believes that school crime and violence are multifaceted problems that need to be addressed in a manner that utilizes all available resources in the community through a coordinated effort of School District personnel, law enforcement agencies, and families. The Board further believes that school administrators and local law enforcement officials must work together to provide for the safety and welfare of students while they are at school or a school-related event or are on their way to and from school. The Board also believes that the first step in addressing school crime and violence is to assess the extent and nature of the problem(s), and then plan and implement strategies that promote school safety and minimize the likelihood of school crime and violence. To that end, the Superintendent shall develop a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan with input from representatives of the local, State, and Federal emergency response agencies; the local Fire Marshall(s) or designee(s); and representatives from emergency medical services.

In addition, each site administrator will develop a site-specific Crisis Management Plan consistent with the District's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.

Thereafter, the Superintendent will require annual review of the District and site-specific Crisis Management Plans.

Persistently Dangerous Schools

The Board recognizes that not only Federal, but also State law requires that the District report annually incidents which meet the statutory definition of violent criminal offenses that occur in a school, on school grounds, on a school conveyance, or at a school-sponsored activity, as well as those incidents that would be a Gun-Free Schools Act violation. It is further understood that the Florida Department of Education will then use the data for the offenses identified in the Department’s Unsafe School Choice Option Policy to determine whether or not a school is considered "persistently dangerous".

Pursuant to the Board’s stated intent to provide a safe school environment, school administrators are expected to respond appropriately to any and all violations of the Student Code of Conduct, especially those of a serious, violent nature. In any year where the number of reportable incidents of violent criminal offenses in any school exceed the threshold number established in State policy, the Superintendent will discuss this at the District's Violence Prevention Committee annual meeting for the purpose of reviewing the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. A plan of corrective action will be developed in an effort to reduce the number of these incidents in the subsequent year.

The Superintendent will make a report to the Board about this plan of corrective action and shall recommend approval and adoption of it.

In the unexpected event that the number of reportable incidents exceeds the statutory threshold for three consecutive school years and the school becomes identified as persistently dangerous, the Superintendent shall offer parents and eligible students the opportunity to transfer to another school within the District that serves the same grades. If there is another school within the District serving the same grades, the transfer shall be completed in a timely manner. If there is not another school within the District that serves the same grades, then parents and eligible students will be advised that, although Federal and State law provides for an opportunity to transfer, they will be unable to do so.

In addition, the Superintendent shall convene a meeting of the building administrator, representative(s) of the local law enforcement agencies, and any other individuals deemed appropriate for the purpose of developing a plan of corrective action that can be implemented in an effort to reduce the number of these incidents in the subsequent year.

If a school in a neighboring district is identified as persistently dangerous and there is not another school or public school academy in that district, the District will admit students from that school in accordance with Board Policy 5113.

Victims of Violent Crime

The Board further recognizes that, despite the diligent efforts of school administrators and staff to provide a safe school environment, an individual student may be a victim of a violent crime in a school, on school grounds, on a school conveyance, or at a school-sponsored activity. In accordance with Federal and State law, the offender shall not attend any school attended by the victim or a sibling of the victim of the offense, or ride on a school bus on which the victim or the sibling of the victim is riding. The parents or the eligible student shall be offered the opportunity to transfer to another school within the District that serves the same grades. If there is another school serving the same grades, the transfer shall be completed in a timely manner.

Implementation

The Superintendent will develop administrative procedures as needed to enable proper implementation of this policy.

F.S. 1006.13
Florida DOE Unsafe School Choice Option Policy, May 2003
Florida DOE Unsafe School Choice Option Policy Technical Assistance Paper,
May 2003

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