On September 1, 2005, Florida enacted the Jessica Lunsford Act (JLA). This law was passed in response to perceived public concerns regarding the tragic abduction and slaying of Jessica Lunsford. The perpetrator was a convicted sexual offender, and the enacted law seeks to screen those with access to school grounds to attempt to prevent future tragedies of this nature. JLA requires a Level 2 screening to include fingerprinting, statewide criminal and juvenile justice records, as verified through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and federal criminal records through the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
Additional legislative changes were added under State Bill 988. As a vendor under contract with the School Board of Highlands County (SBHC), please be advised of the following criminal violations that will prohibit a vendor access to school grounds:
1. Any offense as a sexual offender (s. 943.0435)
2. Sexual misconduct with certain developmentally disabled clients and the reporting of such sexual misconduct (s. 393.135)
3. Sexual misconduct with certain mental health patients and the reporting of such sexual misconduct (s. 394.4593)
4. Relating to terrorism (s.775.30)
5. Relating to murder (s. 782.04)
6. Relating to kidnapping (s. 787.01)
7. Relating to lewdness and indecent exposure (Chapter 800)
8. Relating to incest (s. 826.04)
9. Relating to child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or neglect of a child (s. 827.03)
There is a great level of responsibility placed on vendors and on employees of contracted vendors. Any employee with a criminal arrest for any of the above offenses is required by law, to notify their employing vendor immediately and are NOT permitted on school property. It is the responsibility of the contracted vendor to report the arrest within 48 hours to the Manager of Human Resources, at 863.471.5733. A violation of this requirements on the part of the contracted vendor or the employee is a third degree felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment up to five (5) year (s. 775.082) and/or fine up to $5,000 (s. 775.083).
~ Fingerprinting and Identification ~
Level 2 screening is required for all contracted vendors of the School Board of Highlands County, all subcontractors, and all employees of such vendors and/or subcontractors who will:
1. Be on school property while students are present; or
2. Have direct contact with students; or
3. Have access to or control of school funds
1. Fingerprinting & Background Screening – All vendors are required to complete a Level 2 fingerprinting and background screening at an off-site location. Vendors may call 863.471.5791 for registration/scheduling instructions. All Level 2 screening fees are the responsibility of the vendor.
2. Vendor ID Badge – All vendors are required to photograph for a Highlands County identification badge at an off-site location. Vendors may call 863.471.5791 for registration/scheduling instructions. All badging fees are the responsibility of the vendor. Highlands County vendor ID badges must be worn at all times, at all School Board of Highlands County properties.
3. Level 2 screening and badging fees are non-refundable