Fla. Stat. § 1003.32 (2008)
§ 1003.32. Authority of teacher; responsibility for control
of students; district school board and principal duties
Subject to law and to the rules of the district school
board, each teacher or other member of the staff of any school shall
have such authority for the control and discipline of students as may
be assigned to him or her by the principal or the principal's
designated representative and shall keep good order in the classroom
and in other places in which he or she is assigned to be in charge of
(1) In accordance with this section and within the
framework of the district school board's code of student conduct,
teachers and other instructional personnel shall have the authority to
undertake any of the following actions in managing student behavior and
ensuring the safety of all students in their classes and school and
their opportunity to learn in an orderly and disciplined classroom:
(a) Establish classroom rules of conduct.
(b) Establish and implement
consequences, designed to change behavior, for infractions of classroom
(c) Have disobedient, disrespectful,
violent, abusive, uncontrollable, or disruptive students removed from
the classroom for behavior management intervention.
(d) Have violent, abusive,
uncontrollable, or disruptive students directed for information or
assistance from appropriate school or district school board personnel.
(e) Assist in enforcing school rules on
school property, during school-sponsored transportation, and during
(f) Request and receive information as
to the disposition of any referrals to the administration for violation
of classroom or school rules.
(g) Request and receive immediate
assistance in classroom management if a student becomes uncontrollable
or in case of emergency.
(h) Request and receive training and
other assistance to improve skills in classroom management, violence
prevention, conflict resolution, and related areas.
(i) Press charges if there is a reason
to believe that a crime has been committed on school property, during
school-sponsored transportation, or during school-sponsored activities.
(j) Use reasonable force, according to
standards adopted by the State Board of Education, to protect himself
or herself or others from injury.
(k) Use corporal punishment
according to school board policy and at least the following procedures,
if a teacher feels that corporal punishment is necessary:
1. The use of corporal
punishment shall be approved in principle by the principal before it is
used, but approval is not necessary for each specific instance in which
it is used. The principal shall prepare guidelines for administering
such punishment which identify the types of punishable offenses, the
conditions under which the punishment shall be administered, and the
specific personnel on the school staff authorized to administer the
2. A teacher or
principal may administer corporal punishment only in the presence of
another adult who is informed beforehand, and in the student's
presence, of the reason for the punishment.
3. A teacher or
principal who has administered punishment shall, upon request, provide
the student's parent with a written explanation of the reason for the
punishment and the name of the other adult who was present.
(2) Teachers and other instructional personnel shall:
(a) Set and enforce reasonable classroom
rules that treat all students equitably.
(b) Seek professional development to
improve classroom management skills when data show that they are not
effective in handling minor classroom disruptions.
(c) Maintain an orderly and disciplined
classroom with a positive and effective learning environment that
maximizes learning and minimizes disruption.
(d) Work with parents and other school
personnel to solve discipline problems in their classrooms.
(3) A teacher may send a student to the principal's office
to maintain effective discipline in the classroom and may recommend an
appropriate consequence consistent with the student code of conduct
under s. 1006.07. The principal shall respond by employing the
teacher's recommended consequence or a more serious disciplinary action
if the student's history of disruptive behavior warrants it. If the
principal determines that a lesser disciplinary action is appropriate,
the principal should consult with the teacher prior to taking
(4) A teacher may remove from class a student whose
behavior the teacher determines interferes with the teacher's ability
to communicate effectively with the students in the class or with the
ability of the student's classmates to learn. Each district school
board, each district school superintendent, and each school principal
shall support the authority of teachers to remove disobedient, violent,
abusive, uncontrollable, or disruptive students from the classroom.
(5) If a teacher removes a student from class under
subsection (4), the principal may place the student in another
appropriate classroom, in in-school suspension, or in a dropout
prevention and academic intervention program as provided by s. 1003.53;
or the principal may recommend the student for out-of-school suspension
or expulsion, as appropriate. The student may be prohibited from
attending or participating in school-sponsored or school-related
activities. The principal may not return the student to that teacher's
class without the teacher's consent unless the committee established
under subsection (6) determines that such placement is the best or only
available alternative. The teacher and the placement review committee
must render decisions within 5 days of the removal of the student from
(6) (a) Each school shall establish a placement review
committee to determine placement of a student when a teacher withholds
consent to the return of a student to the teacher's class. A school
principal must notify each teacher in that school about the
availability, the procedures, and the criteria for the placement review
committee as outlined in this section.
(b) The principal must report on a
quarterly basis to the district school superintendent and district
school board each incidence of a teacher's withholding consent for a
removed student to return to the teacher's class and the disposition of
the incident, and the superintendent must annually report these data to
(c) The Commissioner of Education shall
annually review each school district's compliance with this section,
and success in achieving orderly classrooms, and shall use all
appropriate enforcement actions up to and including the withholding of
disbursements from the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund until full
compliance is verified.
(d) Placement review committee
membership must include at least the following:
1. Two teachers, one
selected by the school's faculty and one selected by the teacher who
has removed the student.
2. One member from the
school's staff who is selected by the principal.
The teacher who withheld consent to readmitting the student may not
serve on the committee. The teacher and the placement review committee
must render decisions within 5 days after the removal of the student
from the classroom. If the placement review committee's decision is
contrary to the decision of the teacher to withhold consent to the
return of the removed student to the teacher's class, the teacher may
appeal the committee's decision to the district school superintendent.
(7) Any teacher who removes 25 percent of his or her total
class enrollment shall be required to complete professional development
to improve classroom management skills.
(8) Each teacher or other member of the staff of any
school who knows or has reason to suspect that any person has
committed, or has made a credible threat to commit, a crime of violence
on school property shall report such knowledge or suspicion in
accordance with the provisions of s. 1006.13. Each district school
superintendent and each school principal shall fully support good faith
reporting in accordance with the provisions of this subsection and s.
1006.13. Any person who makes a report required by this subsection in
good faith shall be immune from civil or criminal liability for making
(9) When knowledgeable of the likely risk of physical
violence in the schools, the district school board shall take
reasonable steps to ensure that teachers, other school staff, and
students are not at undue risk of violence or harm.