Justices toss delinquency ruling for resisting school resource officer

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A high school student’s action of trying to pull away from a school resource officer who tried to handcuff him is insufficient to support his adjudication as a delinquent, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Justices reached that unanimous conclusion in K.W. v. State of Indiana, 49S02-1301-JV-20. The ruling affirms a Court of Appeals reversal of a Marion Superior juvenile court on different grounds. The COA held that there was insufficient evidence that the school resource officer was lawfully engaged in his duties.

The case arose from an Aug. 30, 2011, altercation at Ben Davis High School as K.W., then 15, and another student “faced off” with fists raised in a hallway. A teacher intervened and detained K.W. until the SRO, a sergeant with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, arrived.

The officer attempted to handcuff K.W. when he turned to walk away, after which the officer used a “straight arm-bar takedown” to tackle and handcuff the teen. Justice Loretta Rush wrote that neither the officer’s testimony nor surveillance video of the incident establish forcible resistance.

Rush’s five-page unanimous ruling also invited the Legislature to further clarify the roles of school resource officers; current statutes apply only to their engagement in law enforcement duties.

“It would be within the Legislature’s prerogative to conclude that evolving threats to school security and discipline warrant expanding the resisting law enforcement statute to apply to forcible resistance, obstruction, or interference ‘with a law enforcement, school liaison, or school resource officer, or a person assisting the officer, while the officer is lawfully engaged in the execution of the officer’s duties,’” Rush wrote.

“Not only is such a policy judgment about the changing role of school officers best reserved to a politically responsive branch of government, it would be less likely than common law to cause unintended Fourth Amendment consequences. The Legislature may wish to consider such a change,” the court advised.



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  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.