(4) Education Practices Commission Responses to Excessive Force: Establishing Criteria to Define Reasonable Force

David Frisby
Chief of Police, Monticello, Florida

Abstract: This research paper attempts to ascertain what type of teacher behavior the Florida Education Practices Commission (EPC) considers to be reasonable force in Florida classrooms. The author examines the excessive force judgments that the EPC made in school year 1992-93 and identifies the teacher behavior, student behavior, and both mitigating and aggravating factors that apparently influenced the final judgment on the level of punishment by the EPC. Reasonable force has been an educational issue since the Florida Cabinet passed the emergency rule, Zero Tolerance for School Related Violent Crime, in September 1994. Along with its many other initiatives the Zero-Tolerance Rule affirmed and validated the concept of reasonable force in response to student misbehavior, including violence, in Florida education. The author concludes that the EPC is applying its standards with some admirable degree of consistency. Nonetheless, a published list of definitions, criteria and rules, analogous to those provided for law enforcement officers by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, would seem appropriate and would certainly be valuable to teachers.

Citation: Frisby, D. (1996). Education practices commission responses to excessive force: establishing criteria to define reasonable force. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 36(1), 23-32.

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