The School Board of Miami-Dade County
Bylaws & Policies
Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the Bylaws and Policies of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools were adopted on May 11, 2011 and were in effect beginning July 1, 2011.
 

5517.03 - DATING VIOLENCE OR ABUSE

Student dating violence or abuse is prohibited in all secondary schools on school property, during any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity, and/or during school-sponsored transportation.

Definition

Student dating violence involves a pattern of emotional, verbal, sexual, or physical abuse used by one person in a current or past dating relationship to exert power and control over another. Abuse may include insults, coercion, social sabotage, sexual harassment, stalking, threats and/or acts of physical or sexual abuse. It may also include abuse, harassment, and stalking via electronic devices such as cell phones and computers, harassment through a third party, and may be physical, mental, or both.

Reporting Requirement

 A.All verbal or written reports/complaints alleging violations of this policy shall be submitted to the Principal or designee.

 B.All school employees who witness an act of dating violence or abuse or who have a reasonable suspicion that an act of dating violence and/or abuse has taken place must report the incident to the Principal or designee. The employee shall also immediately report the incident to School Police if there is reason to suspect that the incident might constitute a crime. Any uncertainty regarding whether an alleged violation might constitute a crime must be resolved in favor of reporting the incident to School Police.

 C.An employee’s failure to report may result in action(s) or discipline consistent with the collective bargaining agreement provisions or School Board policy.

 D.Nothing in this policy shall relieve a reporter of the obligation to report a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect to the Florida Abuse Hotline or local law enforcement pursuant to F.S. 39.201.

Complaints/Reports

 A.Complaints and reports should be submitted as soon as possible after the alleged incident but shall be submitted within ninety (90) school days after the most recent alleged act of dating violence and/or abuse. The Principal or designee shall document and investigate any complaints or reports and take immediate action to prevent the reoccurrence of the behavior. Appropriate disciplinary action may be taken pursuant to the Code of Student Conduct (Policy 5500).

 B.Failure on the part of the alleged victim to initiate a complaint within ninety (90) school days or to cooperate with the investigation may result in the complaint being deemed abandoned regarding that particular incident.

 C.Additional procedures regarding complaints about bullying and harassment are contained in Policy 5517.01 and Policy 5517.02 and the allegations may also be required to be reported to the Office of Civil Rights pursuant to Policy 5517.

 D.Each school shall publicize the procedure for submitting a complaint or report of dating violence in-person or anonymously and how this report will be addressed.

 E.The victim of student dating violence or abuse, anyone who witnessed an act of dating violence or abuse, and anyone who has reasonable suspicion that an act of dating violence or abuse has taken place pursuant to this policy may submit a report of dating violence or abuse.

 F.Submission of a good faith complaint or report of student dating violence or abuse will not affect the complainant or reporter’s future employment, grades, learning or working environment, or work assignments. Appropriate action will be pursued for persons found to have wrongfully and intentionally accused another of an act of dating violence or abuse.

 G.Any written or verbal reports of an act of dating violence or abuse shall be considered an official means of reporting. Reports may be made anonymously but disciplinary action may not be based solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

Support and Reasonable Accommodations

 A.Principals shall include the policy in the school’s student/parent handbook.

 B.If students or their parent(s)/guardian(s) inform the school that a court has issued a restraining or protective order, a copy of the order should be maintained in the students’ files. The school shall notify School Police immediately if it reasonably believes that a criminal or civil restraining order has been violated. School Police shall respond to a report of a violation of a criminal or civil restraining order.

 C.Whenever possible, face-to-face contact between the victim and alleged perpetrator should be avoided during the pendency of the investigation.

 D.The student who is allegedly experiencing dating violence or abuse may submit a verbal or written request for accommodations to the school. If the request is made verbally, the school administrator shall document the request in writing and provide a written decision to the student as soon as possible. A denial of a request for accommodation must specify the reason(s) for the denial. If scheduling changes are requested or determined by the school to be in the best interest of the victim, the school will accommodate the victim’s preference to the extent possible.

Dating Violence and/or Abuse Prevention Curriculum

Instruction regarding dating violence or abuse will be provided for students in grades 7 through 12 as a component of the health education curriculum as listed in F.S. 1003.42. This instruction includes, but is not limited to, the definition of dating violence or abuse, the warning signs of dating violence or abusive behavior, the characteristics of healthy relationships, measures to prevent and stop dating violence or abuse, and community resources available to victims of dating violence or abuse. The curriculum must emphasize prevention based education. Schools should also implement a peer mentor or peer education component that will foster a deeper understanding of the issues by allowing students to relate to a similarly situated peer.

Professional Development

The Principal shall review the policy with faculty/staff at the Opening of Schools meeting. Teachers, school administrators, counseling professionals and other school site employees shall also be provided training in proper identification, investigation, and intervention of dating violence or abuse incidents that fall within the jurisdiction of the school.

Students, parents/legal guardians, teachers, and school volunteers shall be provided information on this policy, evidence-based methods of preventing dating violence or abuse, and how to effectively identify and respond to dating violence or abuse incidents.

F.S. 1006.148

Adopted 9/3/13

© Neola 2010