Know the Law

Drug Free Manatee, in partnership with the School District of Manatee County (SDMC) and law enforcement agencies including Manatee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), Bradenton Police Department (BPD) and Palmetto Police Department (PPD), provides a curriculum to Manatee County students and their families called Know the Law.

Know the Law is a booklet containing a condensed representation of Florida laws including those ordinances and statutes specific to Manatee County. The information is accompanied by a short presentation by a School Resource Officer (SRO), who then provides students with an opportunity to engage in discussion about the booklet and crime prevention,

The idea is that students make better decisions when they understand the ramifications of their choices. SROs are tasked with the delivery of the curriculum not only to develop the relationship between them and their students, but also establish them as a trusted resource within the school.

Know the Law is usually provided to students in 7th and 9th grade with some variance depending on the school. While it’s designed for delivery in a single class (45 min for middle school and 90 minutes for high school), some schools have opted to expand that time frame. Students are given a pre and post test which records the knowledge they gained from the program.

The Know the Law booklet goes home with students so it can also serve as a parent guide for discussing decision-making and consequences with the children.

Drug Free Manatee deeply appreciates the efforts of trained SROs who provide Know the Law in the classroom, as well as our community partner, Centerstone of Florida, whose trained staff also provides classroom instruction for Know the Law.


  • 2017 KNOW THE LAW was presented in 10 middle schools for a total of 2,470 students (primarily 7th grade)
    • Compared to 2016: # of middle schools served = 10, # of students reached = 2,206
    • Middle School outcome: Student scores reflect an average 14% increase in knowledge across all eight (8) questions in pre/post-test surveys.
  • 2017 KNOW THE LAW  was presented in 8 high schools for a total of 2,461 students reached (primarily 9th grade)
    • Compared to 2016: # of high schools served = 6, # of students reached = 1,775
    • High School outcome: Student scores reflect an average 8.25% increase in knowledge across all eight (8) questions in pre/post-test surveys.