LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two southern Indiana school districts have been ranked among the highest in the state for students arrested on campus.
The Indiana Department of Education recorded more than 1,200 arrests on school properties across the state during the 2018-19 school year.
New Albany-Floyd County schools accounted for 75 of those arrests, while Greater Clark County schools recorded 79. Those numbers put both districts among the top five in the state in terms of on-campus arrests.
Under Indiana code, school corporations are required to report the number of students arrested on school properties, the circumstances surrounding the arrest and statistics concerning the age, race and gender of those arrested students.
The most common arrests in the state are for battery, possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct, according to the department of education.
The number of students being arrested on school properties are raising concerns among some experts. The president of the Indiana School Resource Officer Association, Chase Lyday, said police officers working in the state's schools should take SRO training in order to be more equipped to work with students.
"A street police officer has to have proper context working around a special population like students, particularly special needs students and traumatized students," Lyday told FOX 59 in Indianapolis.
Lyday said a high number of arrests at one school or school district could indicate a lack of SRO training for school officers. Although those officers are trained to arrest students, they are also trained on deescalating situations to make the best decision for the student or students involved, such as referring them to a mental health professional or other community resources in the hopes of keeping them out of the criminal justice system.
Other experts said arrested students have a higher chance of dropping out of school.
Senate Bill 64, which would require SRO training for officers in schools not already considered SROs, was referred to a committee in the Indiana Senate.
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