Schaibley’s bill protecting student athletes advances to governor

Posted by: Allison Vanatsky  | Wednesday, April 24, 2019

STATEHOUSE (April 24, 2019) — State Rep. Donna Schaibley’s (R-Carmel) legislation that would provide additional measures to prevent licensed coaches with a history of misconduct with children from working with students may soon become law.

Schaibley worked with the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana High School Athletic Association to create this legislation to better track educators and coaches who have lost their licenses. According to Schaibley, the current background checks coaches must undergo may miss non-criminal misconduct, allowing people who should not be working with students to slip through the cracks.

“After learning some former teachers who had their licenses revoked for improper behavior were still able to find work in schools as coaches, I knew we needed to do more to protect our students,” Schaibley said. “With this legislation, the Department of Education would notify the IHSAA when any teacher coach has their license revoked or suspended for misconduct with a student. The IHSAA would then decide whether to revoke or suspend the coaching accreditation of that individual.

Under Schaibley’s proposal, schools would need to contact the association before hiring an IHSAA coach to check whether the new coach applicant has ever had their coaching accreditation revoked.  There are also provisions requiring extended background checks and reference checks when hiring non teacher coaches and volunteer coaches.

According to Schaibley, the IHSAA would also create a process to determine when to suspend or revoke the coaching accreditation or sports official license of anyone reported in the database and permanently revoke these certifications for those convicted of certain criminal activity.

“Our coaches really do an incredible job working with students and this is just one extra measure to ensure our kids are safe at school and while playing sports,” Schaibley said.

House Enrolled Act 1209 can now be considered by the governor. Visit iga.in.gov for more information.

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State Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) represents House District 24, which includes portions of Boone and Hamilton counties.

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