Pinellas Sports Officials Association: JLA BACKGROUND INFORMATION

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Jessica Lunsford Act Requires Many School Contract Workers to Undergo Background Check

UPDATE as of MARCH 7TH, 2014

As you may have heard House Bill 21 dealt with the background screening of non-instructional contractors. The Florida Legislature passed and Governor Rick Scott signed this bill making it effective July 1st, 2013. Please review the attachment at the bottom of this page. If you have any questions, the FHSAA office is willing to provide any assistance they can. You may also contact Ms. Marian Lambeth as indicated on the attachment at the bottom of this page.      

Thank you and good luck this upcoming season.

Justin Harrison, FHSAA Assistant Executive Director



 The Jessica Lunsford Act, which was passed by the Florida Legislature in 2005 in response to the abduction and killing of Jessica Lunsford, imposes new background screening requirements on contractors who perform work on Florida public school property. The law requires that before contract personnel are permitted access on school grounds when students are present, or if they will have direct contact with students or have access to or control of school funds, they must have completed level 2 screening requirements as described in Fla. Stat. § 1012.32. The law requires the screening to be completed by September 1, 2005, and applies to individuals employed or contracted with any Florida public school district including traditional public schools, charter schools and alternative schools.

The term "contract personnel" includes any vendor, individual or entity under contract with the school board. Examples: construction, vending machines/food services, office equipment services, utilities/telecommunications, maintenance, those under contract to officiate or participate in extracurricular events, class ring vendors, and photographers.   

Governor Rick Scott signed 2013 House Bill 21, regarding the background screening for all non-instructional contractors, and it went into effect July 1st, 2013.


 The law created a statewide identification badge, which must be recognized and accepted by all school districts. The DOE established a uniform cost of no more than $10 a school district may charge for the statewide badge. The cost of the screening itself is still left up to the individual school district. The game official must return the badge to the issuing school district within 48 hours if arrested for any qualifying offense. No other statutory provisions have been changed other that the fact that the badges must be uniform statewide, the cost must be uniform statewide and all school districts must recognize and accept the statewide badge no matter which district issued the badge to the official. The statutory “line of sight” provisions are still in effect, for those school districts that choose that option for compliance. Even if previous to this law you have a background screening badge, you still MUST pay the $10 to obtain the new badge and it will be the only acceptable badge. The badge is valid for up to five (5) years from date of issuance, but must coincide with the validity of the background screening. Those persons with a retained criminal history background check do not have to submit to a new criminal history background check unless and until it has expired. The expiration date of this new statewide badge will coincide with the expiration date of the currently retained criminal history background check, and thus may have a validity period of less than five (5) years.


What is Level 2 Background Screening? Level 2 background screening as set forth in Florida Statutes § 1012.32 requires that fingerprints be submitted to the Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for state processing and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for federal processing. It may also include a local criminal records check through local law enforcement agencies. Section 1012.32 provides that individuals subject to the background screening requirement who are found to have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude shall not be employed or serve in any position requiring direct contact with students. Conviction, for the purposes of this law, means the person has been found guilty of, regardless of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to a crime involving moral turpitude.

What are Crimes of Moral Turpitude?

According to the Florida Department of Education's (DOE) Technical Assistance Paper on the Jessica Lunsford Act, the "crimes of moral turpitude" standard is the same standard school districts have previously used for their own employees. Florida Administrative Code Rule 6B-4.009(6) provides that a crime of moral turpitude is "a crime that is evidenced by an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private or social duties, which, according to the accepted standards of the time a man owes to his or her fellow man or to society in general, and the doing of the act itself and not its prohibition by statute fixes the moral turpitude." This is the standard that many school districts have applied to their own employees. Thus, in effect, the law now holds all contractual employees to the same standards as the school district's own employees with regard to background screening.








Goin' Postal - Pinellas Park

9753 66th Street North (Southland Plaza)

Pinellas Park, FL 33782



(Mon - Fri)  8AM - 5:30PM      (Sat)  8AM - 12PM


Goin' Postal - Clearwater

1550 McMullen Booth Road

Clearwater, FL 33759



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Goin' Postal - St. Petersburg

1700 66th Street North, Suite 104

Saint Petersburg, FL 33710


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ATTENTION: ALL PSOA Officials MUST show their JLA badge to the school representative in charge at game site in order to officiate game(s)! 










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