The State of Indiana has placed certain restrictions on research conducted in the public schools. The restrictions apply to personal analyses, evaluations, programs, or surveys that:
- are not directly related to academic instruction; and
- that reveal or attempt to affect the student's attitudes, habits, traits, opinions, beliefs, or feelings concerning:
- political affiliations;
- religious beliefs or practices;
- mental or psychological conditions that may embarrass the student or the student's family;
- sexual behavior or attitudes;
- illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
- critical appraisals of other individuals with whom the student has a close family relationship;
- legally recognized privileged or confidential relationships, including a relationship with a lawyer, minister, or physician; or
- income (except as required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under a program).
Prior to conducting research which could be classified under one or more of the above categories, the researcher must obtain:
- the student's consent (if the student is an adult or an emancipated minor), or
- the parent or guardian's written consent (if the student is an unemancipated minor), which form must accurately reflect the contents and nature of the personal analysis, evaluation, or survey.
State law also requires that the school corporation make available for inspection by parents or guardians any materials used in connection with research described above. Investigators should include in their application to the Human Subjects Office a letter from the school corporation indicating that permission has been given to do the research in the school.