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3.29 Domestic Security

3.29 Domestic Security

Chapter 3.00:  School Administration







I.       The Superintendent shall establish a District domestic security plan that is consistent with the requirements of National Incident Management System (NIMS).  The District plan shall include a plan for each school and facility operated by the School Board.  The Superintendent shall ensure that the plan is consistent with NIMS requirements.

  1. All staff shall comply with all required life-safety, policies, procedures, trainings, exercises, and drill requirements for workplace safety, supervision of students, prevention and preparedness for accidents, medical emergencies, fires, natural disasters, and acts of violence.


II.      The domestic security plan shall include the following components:

A.       Access Control

The District shall control access to and enhance the security of school campuses, District facilities and transportation by implementing access control procedures and practices.

  1. Establishing single points of entry;
  2. Integrating fencing in to the design of school campuses;
  3. Requiring that all classroom doors be locked when occupied with students;
  4. Hard corners or safe areas have been identified in all classrooms;
  5. Providing uniformed school resource officers (SRO’s) and/or security officers;
  6. Establishing visitor control;
  7. Establishing policies and procedures for the prevention of violence on school grounds; including assessment of and intervention with individuals whose behavior poses a threat to the safety of the school community;
  8. Adhering to background screening procedures for staff, volunteers and mentors;
  9. Controlling bus embarkation and debarkation.

B.       Emergency Equipment

The District shall ensure that emergency equipment and supplies are available and operable and that communication between school/District personnel and first responders is readily available.



  1. Primary and back up communication systems shall be maintained and routinely tested to ensure functionality and coverage capacity and ensure that adequate signal strength is available in all areas of the school’s campus;
  2. Personal protective equipment shall be available to school personnel;
  3. Emergency equipment shall be monitored and/or tested to ensure operability;
  4. Supplies shall be monitored to ensure current shelf life;
  5. Emergency supplies and equipment shall be appropriate for specific school campuses or facilities.

C.       Training

Initial and follow-up training shall be provided for school/District personnel, students and state and local partners.  New employees shall receive training relevant to the position.  When an employee is reclassified to a different position, his/her training record shall be reviewed and appropriate training shall be provided.  Training must include explanation and direction that every staff member must take appropriate action(s), including initiating a lockdown on a school campus should they see, hear, or smell anything that may immediately impact the safety and security of any staff, students, or visitors on campus.  In addition to initiating this lockdown each and every employee has the ability and responsibility to call 911 in an emergency.

D.       Communication and Notification Procedures

The District shall ensure that external and internal communication and notification procedures are developed and implemented.  In an actual emergency the Principal, Assistant Principal, Guidance Counselor, Dean and front office support staff are responsible for calling the primary emergency response agency by dialing 911.  Law Enforcement will notify the School District for each type of emergency.

                     Emergency Response Agency                       Type of Emergency

                     Okeechobee County Emergency Management Hazardous material, weather emergencies

                     Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office                Active shooter, weapon, threat, criminal act

                     Okeechobee City Police Department               Active shooter, weapon, threat, criminal act

                     Okeechobee County Health Department         Pandemic

                     Okeechobee County Fire Rescue                    Fire, bomb threat, EMS

                     Okeechobee City Fire Department                  Fire, bomb threat

All school personnel must report all mental health or substance abuse crisis situations, and actions taken, to the threat assessment team which must contact the other agencies involved with the students and any known service providers to share information and coordinate any necessary follow-up actions.

Upon the student’s transfer to a different school, the threat assessment team must verify that any intervention services provided to the student remain in place until the threat assessment team of the receiving school independently determines the need for intervention services.

E.       Coordination with Partners

The District shall ensure coordination with state and local partners by establishing and maintaining a close working relationship with local law enforcement agencies, first responders and the county emergency operations center.  The district will coordinate with local agencies to schedule and conduct emergency drills with the frequency required by statute, District policies, and procedures.

The School Safety Specialist shall coordinate with public safety agencies that are designed as first responders to a school’s campus to conduct a tour once every three years and provide recommendations related to school safety.

During threat assessments, the School Resource Officer may obtain the criminal history record information (CHRI) of an individual to aid in the decision making process.  This information is confidential and must not be disclosed to any person without lawful purpose.

The Okeechobee County School Board will share otherwise confidential information with all state and local agencies and programs that provide appropriate services, including mental health support,  for the student or to ensure the safety of the student or others.

F.       Vulnerability Assessment

The District shall establish standards for assessment and shall assess vulnerability of all District schools and facilities.  The vulnerability checklist shall be completed by district and school staff which includes a debrief, listing lessons learned and areas for improvement to be implemented at the site or recommended for consideration across the school district.  In addition, the School Safety Specialist shall ensure that each school and the district complete the Florida Safe Schools Assessment Tool (FSSAT). The FSSAT will assist the district in identifying threats, vulnerabilities and appropriate safety controls for schools.  The FSSAT will be submitted to the Department on time even if a special meeting must be advertised for approval.

G.       Threat Assessment Teams

The purpose of the threat assessment team is to evaluate a threat to self or others to determine what services, if any, are warranted to assist the student and maintain a safe school. The Okeechobee County School Board has adopted the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) as standard protocol for all procedures, components and forms for threat assessments. In compliance with CSTAG protocol, each threat assessment considers the student, family, and school and social dynamics. Each member of the threat assessment team is trained in use of the CSTAG instrument. The threat assessment team shall be composed of school administration, guidance counselor, and the school resource officer. The crisis counselor becomes a member of the threat assessment team when the school-based threat assessment team deems the threat substantive. Once the team determines the level of the threat (transient or substantive) the parent will be contacted and given a summary of the assessment. The threat assessment team or school personnel will offer interventions to low risk individuals. In the event a student poses a high level threat of violence or physical harm to himself or herself or others, the team shall immediately report its determination to the Superintendent or designee and shall implement immediate safety precautions to protect the student and others by implementing an Individual Student Safety Plan.

An Individual Student Safety Plan is designed to address specific student behavior that could be harmful or dangerous to the student and/or others.  The safety plan balances the student’s right to privacy and access to educational programming with the safety needs of the school.  A safety plan is required for students who are returning from hospitalized (i.e., Baker Acted) or have been in residential treatment for mental health issues. Students who are returning to school after arrest or incarceration as recommended by the Director of Student Services. Or, students exhibiting any significant safety concern(s) as recommended by a school psychologist or crisis counselor. Confidentiality shall be practiced to protect all of the individuals involved throughout this process.  In addition, the threat assessment team may look at criminal history records to help determine actions, outcomes and interventions. In the event of a continuing concern of threat of violence to others, the Superintendent may consider returning to regular school, placement in the alternative school, home-based placement or even expulsion.


III.     The District plan including all school and facility plans shall be reviewed annually or more frequently if needed.  Modifications shall be made and communicated to relevant school/District personnel and emergency management officials.  Conditions which may warrant interim review and possible modification of the plan include addition to or renovation of a facility, change in the use of a facility, change of grades served by a school, new programs added to the school, and change in security threat level


IV.      The Superintendent shall request documentation of compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) standards from the county emergency management agency and shall obtain certification of compliance from the Commissioner of Education.


V.       The Superintendent shall have sole discretion to select employees to function as school guardians.


VI.      A school guardian:

1.       Shall be a volunteer;

2.       Shall remain anonymous;

3.       Holds a valid concealed weapons permit issued under F. S. 790.06;

4.       Has completed 132 total hours of comprehensive firearms safety and proficiency training conducted by Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission-certified instructors, which must include:

                   A.       Eighty hours of firearms instruction based on the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission’s Law Enforcement Academy training model, which must include at least 10 percent but no more than 20 percent more rounds fired than associated with academy training.  Program participants must achieve an 85 percent pass rate on the firearms training.

                 B.       Sixteen hours of instruction in precision pistol.

                   C.       Eight hours of discretionary shooting instruction with using state-of-the-art simulator exercises.

                   D.       Eight hours of instruction in active shooter or assailant scenarios.

         E.       Eight hours of instruction in defensive tactics.

         F.       Twelve hours of instruction in legal issues.

5.       Has passed a psychological evaluation administered by a psychologist licensed under chapter 490.

6.       Submits to and passes an initial drug test and subsequent random drug tests in accordance with the requirements of s. 112.0455 and the sheriff’s office.

7.       Has successfully completed ongoing training, weapon inspection, and firearm qualification on at least an annual basis.

8.      Has successfully completed at least 12 hours of a certified nationally recognized diversity training program.

9.       Holds a current school guardian certificate issued by the Sheriff of Okeechobee

         County, Florida.

10.       Shall bear a firearm at all times while acting in the course and scope of employment.


VII.    To continue to function as a school guardian, the person must successfully complete ongoing training, weapon inspection, and firearm qualification on at least an annual basis.


VIII.   Any school employee that learns the identity of a school guardian shall not disclose such identity to any other person nor shall the school guardian voluntarily disclose the guardian’s identity except in an emergency situation.  A violation of this provision shall subject the violator to disciplinary proceedings, which could include suspension or termination.




1001.41, 1001.42, F.S.


1001.43, 1001.51, 1001.54, 1006.07, 1006.08, 1006.09, 1006.21, 1013.13, F.S.


6A-1.0403, 6A-3.0171





Revision Date(s):

06/12/2018, 04/09/2019, 09/10/19, 09/08/2020