Court of Appeals to hold oral argument in Trinda Barocas v. State of Indiana at Ivy Tech Community College

EVANSVILLE- The Court of Appeals of Indiana will hear oral argument in Trinda Barocas v. State of Indiana on Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. (Central time) at Ivy Tech Community College.  The argument will be held in Ivy Tech’s Vectren Auditorium (Room 147).  A panel of judges consisting of Judge L. Mark Bailey, Judge Melissa S. May, and Judge Elaine B. Brown will hear the case on appeal from Marion Superior Court.

In this appeal, Trinda Barocas, a special education teacher, appeals her conviction of battery and argues that, as a teacher, her action of flicking a student’s tongue with her finger was legally justified as a reasonably necessary disciplinary action.  Arguing for the Appellant, Trinda Barocas, will be Suzy St. John, and arguing for the Appellee, State of Indiana, will be Ann Goodwin.

The Court of Appeals hears oral argument at venues across the state to enable Hoosiers to learn about the judicial branch.  After the case has been argued, members of the audience may ask questions about the judicial process in Indiana.  The Court has heard more than 300 oral arguments “on the road” at law schools, colleges, high schools, and county courthouses since its centennial in 2000-2001. 

The Court of Appeals of Indiana is the state’s second-highest court and reviews appeals from trial court decisions.  A decision of the Court of Appeals of Indiana is final unless granted further review by the Indiana Supreme Court.   

The 15 judges on the Court of Appeals issue more than 2,300 written opinions each year, sitting in three-judge panels.  For more information about the Court of Appeals, visit  For information about the Court’s traveling oral arguments, as well as additional information on Trinda Barocas v. State of Indiana, visit

About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 200,000 students enrolled annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana.  It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana.  It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

2 thoughts on “Court of Appeals to hold oral argument in Trinda Barocas v. State of Indiana at Ivy Tech Community College

  1. I am appalled that this teacher finds this an appropriate form of discipline. What if a parent had done this to their own child?
    I am the mother of a former special education student. He has been removed from special education services and the public school system because I have found them to be unprofessional. They have not helped my child learn to work around his disability: they have only punished him for being disabled. I thought it was only the county in which I live, but I guess anywhere in Indiana lacks insight into how to teach children who are “other-abled”.
    I hope this woman not only loses her job, but her license.

  2. I’ve not followed this case but the charge of battery sounds a little extreme for flicking someone. Exactly how did the teacher flick the student and was it severe enough to cause physical harm? Unless there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye, I just don’t think we need to go to this extreme. We tend to over dramatize any type of negative interaction between teachers and students because we hold teachers to such high standards. Most of us have probably been harsher with our children than this teacher was at some point, even if we don’t want to admit it. If I turn to the person beside me right now and flick them, should I be arrested? If you flick me, should you face the same punishment as this teacher? If my 16 year old flicks my 6 year old in the back of the car because she is being annoying, do I send her to Juvenile Detention? (pretty common in our car, my poor daughter would have been locked up years ago) Yes, any unwanted physical contact is battery but lets use a little discretion and common sense. I do agree that this is NOT an appropriate form of discipline for the teacher to use with any student, disabled or not. She should be disciplined and most likely fired. However, I don’t think she should be charged with battery and made to face a judge in a public spectacle like she’s ruthlessly beaten someone. Let’s save our limited jail space and legal resources for the hundreds of true battery and child abuse cases that go unnoticed in Indiana every year.

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