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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 1012
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F.S. 1012.75
1012.75 Liability of teacher or principal; excessive force.
(1) Except in the case of excessive force or cruel and unusual punishment, a teacher or other member of the instructional staff, a principal or the principal’s designated representative, or a bus driver shall not be civilly or criminally liable for any action carried out in conformity with State Board of Education and district school board rules regarding the control, discipline, suspension, and expulsion of students, including, but not limited to, any exercise of authority under s. 1003.32 or s. 1006.09.
(2) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules that outline administrative standards for the use of reasonable force by school personnel to maintain a safe and orderly learning environment. Such standards shall be distributed to each school in the state and shall provide guidance to school personnel in receiving the limitations on liability specified in this section.
(3) The Department of Education shall administer an educator liability insurance program, as provided in the General Appropriations Act, to protect full-time instructional personnel from liability for monetary damages and the costs of defending actions resulting from claims made against the instructional personnel arising out of occurrences in the course of activities within the instructional personnel’s professional capacity. For purposes of this subsection, the terms “full-time,” “part-time,” and “administrative personnel” shall be defined by the individual district school board. For purposes of this subsection, the term “instructional personnel” has the same meaning as provided in s. 1012.01(2).
(a) Liability coverage of at least $2 million shall be provided to all full-time instructional personnel. Liability coverage may be provided to the following individuals who choose to participate in the program, at cost: part-time instructional personnel, administrative personnel, and students enrolled in a state-approved teacher preparation program pursuant to s. 1012.39(3).
(b) By August 1 of each year, the department shall notify the personnel specified in paragraph (a) of the pending procurement for liability coverage. By September 1 of each year, each district school board shall notify the personnel specified in paragraph (a) of the liability coverage provided pursuant to this subsection. The department shall develop the form of the notice which shall be used by each district school board. The notice must be on an 8 1/2-inch by 5 1/2-inch postcard and include the amount of coverage, a general description of the nature of the coverage, and the contact information for coverage and claims questions. The notification shall be provided separately from any other correspondence. Each district school board shall certify to the department, by September 15 of each year, that the notification required by this paragraph has been provided.
(c) The department shall consult with the Department of Financial Services to select the most economically prudent and cost-effective means of implementing the program through self-insurance, a risk management program, or competitive procurement.
History.s. 753, ch. 2002-387; s. 10, ch. 2015-222; s. 7, ch. 2016-58; ss. 26, 126, ch. 2016-62.