Rules of the School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida
Title 6Gx50
Chapter 7. Facilities and Operations

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Policy 7.20Vandalism and Damage to School Property

  1. Purpose. -- The School Board has a duty under state law to provide for the care, control and management of school property and equipment.

  2. Definitions.

    “School Property”, for the purposes of this policy, means any property, real, personal or mixed belonging to the School District, including but not limited to school buildings, District buildings not being used as a school, vehicles being used for school purposes, school grounds and school equipment.

    “Vandalism”, for the purposes of students, shall have the meanings provided for minor vandalism (i.e., the cost of repair or replacement is less than $100) and major vandalism (.i.e., the cost of repair or replacement is more than $100), as provided in The Code of Student Conduct, School Board Policies 5.182 and 5.183.

    “Accidental property damage” occurs when it is established that school property has been damaged by accident, without willfulness or malice, the school principal is expected to use regular district procedures for assessing the damage or loss and requisitioning its repair and replacement. In such instances, this policy would not apply.

  3. Policy. -- Students, individuals or groups who damage or vandalize school property will be responsible for its repair and/or replacement.

    1. Students -- The School Board is authorized under Section 741.24, Florida Statutes, to collect for damages from parents of children under eighteen years of age, living with parents who maliciously or willfully damages or destroys school property. A student who willfully damages or destroys school property shall be held accountable. Such accountability will include appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct; personal and parental liability and responsibility for actual damages; and where appropriate, referral to the criminal justice system.

    2. Non-students.

      1. Any person other than a student who vandalizes or damages school property shall be responsible for the cost of repair or replacement of the school property in accordance with the actual damage as determined by the school principal, the responsible District department head, or in extreme cases, the Superintendent or designee. A failure to comply with a request for payment of such damages shall result in the person being ineligible for further use of school property and such legal action as the School Board deems proper to recover the amount of damages.

      2. Each organization which is granted a permit for the use of school property shall be responsible for any damage to the school property beyond that which would be considered normal wear and tear and shall pay for any such damage in accordance with the actual damage as determined by the school principal, the District department head, or in extreme cases, the Superintendent or designee. A failure to comply with a request for payment of such damages shall result in the group or organization being ineligible for further use of school property and such legal action as the School Board deems proper to recover the amount of damages.

  4. Restitution.

    1. Students. -- The principal upon ascertaining the names of the student(s) who willfully damaged school property shall, if the student is a minor, provide written notification to the student's parents/guardians requesting that the school property be restored or replaced in accordance with the actual damages as determined by the principal. Any adult student involved in the vandalism or destruction of school property shall be held solely responsible for the damages.

    2. Non-Students; Organizations. -- Attempts should be made by the principal or department head to collect damages through the use of collection letters.

    3. Restitution through Criminal Proceedings. -- If criminal charges are commenced related to vandalism or damage to school property, the School District may pursue restitution for any damages through the criminal proceedings.

  5. Civil Actions.

    1. Students. -- A civil action against the minor student's parent(s) or guardian(s) may be instituted by the School Board in an appropriate action to recover damages in an amount not to exceed the limit prescribed by law, if the parent(s) or guardian(s) refuses to restore or replace the property.

    2. Non-Students; Organizations. -- A failure to comply with a request for payment of damages by a non-student or organization shall result in the individual, group or organization being subject to such legal action as the School Board deems proper to recover the amount of damages.

  6. Incident Reporting. -- The school principal or department head shall report all instances of vandalism immediately to the Superintendent or designee, Maintenance Department, Risk Management, and to the school police giving all available information. The report shall include, but not be limited to the name(s) of any perpetrator(s); the date, time and place of the act; any special circumstances related to the act; the date reported to law enforcement authorities, if applicable; a description of the damage(s) to the school property and its effect on school or work unit operations; cost analysis of the damage(s), including estimated cost of repairs or replacement and labor; any other pertinent information.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY:Fla. Stat. §§ 1001.41, 1001.42
LAWS IMPLEMENTED:Fla. Stat. §§ 741.24, 806.13, 1001.43, 1013.10
HISTORY:February l8, 1972; June 25, 1975; 5/06/2009