Florida Department Of Education Commissioner’s Task Force on Holocaust Education Annual Meeting October 1-2, 2013

By-Laws Drafted on October 1 and 2, 2013
Nova Southeastern University
Davie, Florida

Florida Holocaust Education Mandate FS 1003.42 (2)(g) 2013:

In 1994, the Florida Legislature passed the Holocaust Education Bill (SB 660) that amended section 233.061 of the Florida Statutes (Chapter 94-14, Laws of Florida), relating to required instruction. The new law, now at 1003.42 (2) (g), required all school districts to incorporate lessons on the Holocaust as part of public school instruction. The statute reads as follows:

Florida Statute 1003.42(f):
The history of the Holocaust (1933-1945), the systematic planned annihilation of European Jews and other groups by Nazi Germany, a watershed event in the history of humanity, to be taught in a manner that leads to an investigation of human behavior, an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions.

Mission Overview:
The mission of the Commissioner’s Task Force on Holocaust Education is to advise and assist the Commissioner of Education, school district professionals and support staff in preparation for teaching the history of the Holocaust which will lead to

  • An investigation of human behavior;
  • An understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, stereotyping and genocide; and
  • An examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person for the purposes of encouraging tolerance/appreciation of diversity in a pluralistic society, and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions by offering intensive professional learning programs, educational resources and sustained support.

Article I – Name and Purposes

Section 1: The name of the organization shall be:

The Florida Department of Education Commissioner’s Task Force on Holocaust Education.

Section 2: The task force is organized for the purposes of

  • Advising the Commissioner of Education and school districts in the preparation of teaching the history of the Holocaust;
  • Supporting the designated task force sites;
  • Convening task force meetings that bring together representatives from the state of Florida; and
  • Providing education resources, professional learning and support for educators in the state of Florida.

Article II – Membership

Section 1: Procedures Related to Membership
The process for requesting a member appointment or removal from the task force has been outlined below.

Membership in the task force shall include individuals who meet the following criteria:         

  • All appointments to the Commissioner’s Task Force on Holocaust Education shall be approved and notified by the commissioner in writing.
  • The chair of the Commissioner’s Task Force on Holocaust Education, in consultation with task force members, shall be responsible for identifying membership needs of the task force.
  • Geographic distribution of the state of Florida, including educators, Holocaust survivors, university representatives, designated task force sites, emeritus members and other qualified and interested parties.
  • Any notification or requests concerning a change in membership should include a current list of task force members and a brief description of their role.
  • If an appointment of a new member to the task force is necessary, the chair shall provide the commissioner with a written request for such an appointment and a justification including the following requirements:
  • A description of the role(s) and responsibilities to be assumed by the new member;
  • A brief biography of the nominee for appointment, including specific qualifications related to the work of the task force; and
  • A signed statement from the nominee verifying that no conflict of interest exists between the nominee and any associate of the Commissioner’s Task Force on Holocaust Education.

Section 2 – Role & Responsibilities of Membership

  • Discuss and vote on issues before the task force.
  • Attend/participate in meetings (in person/electronically) related to task force activities, including committee meetings, with reasonable notice; reimbursement of allowable expenses associated with attending scheduled meetings; and other activities in accordance with current guidelines will be provided.
  • Send a non-voting representative for a designated member who is unable to attend to convey reliable information with regard to the business of the task force.
  • Lend their expertise upon request to support the mission

Section 3: Removal

  • If a member of the task force needs to be excused from future service, the chair shall provide the commissioner with justification including:
  • The reason for removing the member from the task force; and
  • Verification that any applicable fiscal obligations involving the departing member have been reconciled appropriately.
  • Leaving the state of Florida or from the position that connects them to the task force;
  • Lack of participation in task force scheduled meetings; lack of attendance which includes two or more consecutive years;
  • A conflict of interest;
  • Voluntary resignation; or
  • For any good and reasonable cause.

Article III:  Officers and Decision Making

Section 1:  The governing structure begins with the Commissioner of Education who appoints the members of the Task Force on Holocaust Education including the chair and other members

Section 2:

  • Chair:
  • Shall be responsible for all direct communication with the Commissioner of Education and his/her designated liaison for the functioning of the task force;
  • Shall be responsible for submitting the names of nominees for commissioner’s approval to serve or be removed from the task force;
  • Shall be responsible for communicating with task force members and designated sites regarding meetings, the annual budget report and other scheduled activities;
  • Shall maintain a website and other electronic communication necessary to inform the task force members and the public; and
  • Shall set the general meeting date.
  • Recording Secretary
  • Shall be appointed annually and is responsible for:
  • Recording and preparing draft minutes for review at subsequent task force meeting;
  • Maintaining attendance of all individuals including task force members and members of the public at meetings; and
  • Preparing the documents for submission to the chair and Commissioner of Education.

Section 3: Committees:  

The task force shall appoint committees as needed.  These committees may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Legislative advocacy;
  • Budget;
  • Teacher Award;
  • Curriculum;
  • Membership;
  • Special Projects Review;
  • Outreach; and
  • By-Laws.

Section 4: Standing Committee and Sub-Committee Responsibilities:

  • Meet and prepare a report for the regularly scheduled task force meetings;
  • Record agenda, attendance and decisions made at each meeting; and
  • Chair shall ensure that reasonable financial support is secured for appointed task force members to attend committee and sub-committee meetings. The procedures for financial reimbursement include the following: copies of the agenda, sign-in sheets, specification of meeting’s time and place and receipts (except for meals).

Section 4: Decisions

  • Quorum: A quorum for the purposes of task force decisions shall be comprised of a simple majority (50% + 1) of total appointed task force members in attendance at the meeting.
  • Amendments to By-Laws: Two-thirds of the appointed task force members in attendance at the meeting may vote to amend the by-laws.

Article IV: General, Special and Annual Meetings

Section 1: General Meeting

  • The task force shall conduct at least one general meeting of voting members each year in order to fulfill its mission.
  • Notice of scheduled meetings shall be provided in writing or through email to the voting members at least 45 days in advance.
  • The task force chair shall set the general meeting date.

Section 2: Special/Emergency Meetings

  • The task force chair may call a special/emergency meeting when deemed necessary.
  • Reasonable notice shall be provided to each voting member to ensure a quorum for the meeting.

Article V – The Task Force Membership (see Article II – Membership)

Section 1: Number of Voting Task Force Members

  • The size of the task force shall be comprised of 25-35 voting members who meet the criteria of membership.
  • The task force shall be representative of the geographic regions of the state of Florida.
  • The task force reserves the right to increase membership in order to fulfill its mission.

Article VI- Non-Discrimination Policy (or use state standard policy) 

Section 1: The task force affirms that none of its policies will be discriminatory against any individual and or group based on religious, race, national origin, gender, cultural background, exceptionality and any other characteristics.

Section 2: The task force affirms that it will comply with any federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to the delivery of its services provided to individuals and groups. 

Article VII – Conduct of Task Force Business

Section 1: Procedures for Conducting Business

  • The conduct of the task force business shall be guided by the current task force by-laws, and as applicable, “Robert’s Rules of Order” shall apply.
  • Business of the task force shall be conducted in accordance with section 286.011, Florida Statutes.
  • Approval of By-Laws:

These by-laws were approved by a vote of the members of the Florida Commissioner’s Task Force on Holocaust Education at a meeting of the Florida Commissioner’s Task Force on Holocaust Education on the second day of October 2013, and by the Florida Commissioner of Education on March 1, 2014