In response to a perceived escalation in physically aggressive behaviors by students, the Superintendent believes it is important to encourage consistent practices to prevent and address these behaviors.
Carmel Clay Schools must balance several interests when addressing this very important issue. On the one hand, it must provide each student with a free and appropriate public education. Carmel Clay Schools will never compromise its obligation to provide each of its students with a free and appropriate education regardless of a student’s level of physical aggression. On the other hand, however, Carmel Clay Schools must consider potential injury to school personnel and students if a student exhibits physically aggressive behavior.
Individualized Education Programs/Behavioral Intervention Plans
A special education student’s physical aggressive behavior should, where previously manifested, be addressed in the student’s individualized education program and behavioral intervention plan. Those personnel that provide instruction or otherwise work directly with a student who exhibits physically aggressive behavior shall be provided copies of and review the student’s individualized education program and behavioral intervention plan. As required, these personnel must be properly trained to carry out the behavior intervention strategies addressed in a student’s individualized education program and behavioral intervention plan.
If a special education student’s behavior escalates, the school personnel responsible for the student at the time of the behavior must utilize the behavioral intervention strategies as described in the student’s individualized educational program and behavioral intervention plan. Where these strategies do not exist or do not adequately mitigate the behavior, the school personnel should appropriately address the behavior to prevent anyone from getting injured. If time permits, the school personnel should consult with the student’s teacher of record.
Battery Reporting/Incident Reports
Indiana law requires all school personnel to report incidents where a school employee has reason to believe that a school employee is the victim of battery at school or a school event. The law, however, does not distinguish between nondisabled students and disabled students.
A school employee who has reason to believe that s/he or another school employee is the victim of battery shall immediately report that information to the building principal where the battery occurred.
A “battery” occurs where a person
(a) knowingly or intentionally touches another person
(b) in a rude, insolent, or angry manner.
A battery cannot occur unless the person’s conscious intention was to make contact with the school employee. Therefore, accidental touching is not considered battery. Also, a battery cannot occur unless the touching was done in a rude, insolent, or angry manner. This is a broad definition and includes: touching that is offensive in manner or action; touching occurring abruptly and disconcertingly; touching that is insulting; and touching that shows anger or proceeds from anger.
The determination of whether a person committed battery on a school employee is ultimately made by the school employee that perceives the touching. The touching may or may not end up being battery, but, from the perspective of the school employee, if s/he believes it to meet the definition of battery then s/he must report the incident to the building principal where the incident occurred.
Once the building principal receives the battery report, the building principal must immediately report the incident to law enforcement. The building principal shall first attempt to contact the Corporation’s school resource officer on duty; however, if the building principal is unable to reach the school resource officer on duty, the building principal shall attempt to report the incident to another school resource officer assigned to the Corporation or the school resource officer supervisor. If the building principal is unable to reach any school resource officer or school resource officer supervisor, the building principal shall report the incident to local law enforcement. Immediately after contacting law enforcement, the building principal shall report the incident to the Superintendent. These reporting requirements, however, do not preclude school personnel from seeking emergency assistance.