State law discourages district use of zero tolerance approaches and encourages school administrator discretion in determining sanctions for violations of school policy.
Indiana Code 20-26-5-32 Plans for improving student behavior and discipline
(a) The governing body of each school corporation shall work with parents to:
- (1) develop; and
- (2) review periodically; an evidence based plan for improving student behavior and discipline in the school corporation after receiving a model plan developed by the department. (b) The model plan developed by the department under subsection (a) must:
- (1) reduce out-of-school suspension and disproportionality in discipline and expulsion;
- (2) limit referrals to law enforcement and arrests on school property to cases in which referral to law enforcement or arrest is necessary to protect the health and safety of students or school employees; and
- (3) include policies to address instances of bullying and cyberbullying on school property of a school corporation. (c) Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the department, in collaboration with parent organizations, teacher organizations, educational support professional organizations, and state educational institutions, shall, upon a school corporation’s request, provide information and assistance to the school corporation regarding the implementation of the school corporation’s evidence based plan developed under subsection (a) to ensure that teachers and administrators receive appropriate professional development and other resources in preparation for carrying out the plan.
Indiana Code 20-33-8-14 Grounds for suspension or expulsion
(a) The following are the grounds for student suspension or expulsion, subject to the procedural requirements of this chapter and as stated by school corporation rules:
- (1) Student misconduct.
- (2) Substantial disobedience. (b) The grounds for suspension or expulsion listed in subsection (a) apply when a student is:
- (1) on school grounds immediately before or during school hours, or immediately after school hours, or at any other time when the school is being used by a school group;
- (2) off school grounds at a school activity, function, or event; or
- (3) traveling to or from school or a school activity, function, or event.
Indiana Code 5-2-10.1-6 Grants to school corporations - Safety plans
(a) A school corporation, school corporation career and technical education school described in IC 20-37-1-1, or charter school (as defined in IC 20-24-1-4) may receive a grant from the fund for programs, equipment, services, or activities included in a safety plan submitted with the application for funds to the institute. (b) A safety plan submitted under this section must include provisions for zero (0) tolerance for alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and weapons on school property. If the institute approves the safety plan and application, the treasurer of state shall disburse from the fund to the applicant the amount of the grant certified to the treasurer of state by the institute.
Research-Based Equitable School Discipline Model Policy
Districts and schools shall prohibit the use of corporal punishment, restraints, seclusion, or physical abuse against students.