USA News

Ex-Indiana teacher accused of encouraging classmates to beat up 7-year-old with disabilities

A former Indiana teacher is accused of orchestrating a “Fight Club” in which he allegedly encouraged classmates to beat up a disabled 7-year-old student and filmed at least one assault, according to a lawsuit filed this week.

The 7-year-old boy’s mother filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Marion County that also names Indiana Public Schools Superintendent Aleesia Johnson, George Washington Carver Montessori IPS 87 School Principal Mary Kapcoe , and the child’s former teacher, Julious Johnican.

A second grader was allegedly attacked by other students – and a teacher allegedly recorded the incident and encouraged violence.via Connell Michael LLP

Other defendants include the district, the district’s board of school trustees, the school’s assistant principal, a substitute teacher and a behavior consultant.

According to the lawsuit, a few weeks into the 2023-24 school year, the child, identified only as “OD,” began complaining to his mother about being mistreated and harassed at school.

The suit alleges that Johnican orchestrated “reprehensible ‘fight club’ style discipline within his class over a three-month period during which he encouraged, instigated and, on at least one occasion, recorded on his phone physical abuse of DO by other students. »

“In this horrific situation, Johnican not only authorized, but also incited and facilitated other students to engage in acts of violence against a seven-year-old child OD, which included at least three beatings and various forms of violence physical and bullying, both for his own amusement or pleasure. as a deeply disturbed disciplinary action,” the suit states.

Catherine Michael, an attorney representing the student’s family, said the teacher appeared to be using fighting as “a disciplinary technique.”

“Instead of senselessly beating a child himself, at least from what we have, he was allowing another child to do it,” Michael told NBC affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis.

On Thursday, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson said it opened an investigation into the allegations in the lawsuit Wednesday at the request of the county attorney’s office.

The school district said in a statement that it took immediate action upon learning of the allegations. It also said the teacher was initially suspended, then resigned on Nov. 2, before the district could begin the termination process.

“IPS does not tolerate the type of behavior alleged in the complaint and takes reports of potential abuse and neglect seriously,” the district’s statement said. “When IPS became aware of the teacher’s behavior, the Department of Child Services (DCS) was immediately notified and the teacher was removed from the classroom and suspended. The teacher no longer had contact with students and is no longer employed by IPS.

A second grader was allegedly attacked by other students — and a teacher recorded the incident and allegedly encouraged violence — at George Washington Carver Montessori IPS 87 School in Indianapolis.WITH

The district also said it was not made aware of the allegations that the teacher encouraged fighting until the parent emailed the principal on the evening of October 30. But the principal didn’t see the email until the next morning and immediately contacted the Department of Children’s Services. and the school system’s human resources staff, the district said.

A district spokesperson said Thursday that Johnson, the superintendent and the school principal would not comment on the allegations.

Attempts to reach Johnican, who is described as a first-year teacher in the district in the lawsuit, were unsuccessful Thursday afternoon. Phone calls to numbers associated with his relatives went unanswered.

The lawsuit alleges the second-grader was “thrown to the ground, punched, slapped, and repeatedly punched in the head” in at least three attacks.

Johnican, according to the suit, detained the child twice while “allowing other students to hit, punch and kick him.”

The child’s mother had repeated meetings with Johnican to discuss her son’s allegations, but Johnican dismissed them and blamed the problem on the student’s behavioral issues and said the student was lying or being intoxicated. of mental illness, according to the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, on Sept. 22, the child’s mother reported the allegations to the assistant principal after she was called to the school because her son was hysterical and unable to calm down.

His mother went to school that day and observed him in class for 45 minutes. That day, her son told her again that he had been mistreated at school, according to the suit.

“OD informed his mother that, in the presence of the teacher and under his orders, another student slammed his head against a desk, pulled him to the ground, and then punched him several times in the head. He directly indicated that this was being done at the instruction of his teacher, Mr. Johnican,” the lawsuit states.

The child, according to the complaint, began asking to avoid school and his grades dropped.

On Nov. 1, his parents had a meeting with Johnican, who intended to show video of his classroom environment but inadvertently began showing video of the student being attacked, the suit states.

“When the parent attempted to grab the phone, he inadvertently increased the volume, allowing the parents to hear that it was him, the teacher, who was instigating and encouraging the beating of their seven-year-old disabled child “, according to the lawsuit.

“The distressing content of the video made by Johnican shows OD on the ground crying as he is repeatedly punched in the face and head by a peer sitting on top of him as he screams and begs for help. attack stops,” he said. said.

In an interview with the Department of Children’s Services, the student said he was assaulted twice in October and that Johnican once held him down while a first-grader slapped his face , according to the complaint. And in a second alleged incident, Johnican held his shoulders while another student punched him in the stomach and kicked him in the legs, according to the suit.

Some of the claims in the lawsuit include negligent care and supervision; negligent hiring, retention and supervision; and intentional infliction of serious emotional distress.

The child is now home-schooled, has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and attends therapy at least once a week, according to the lawsuit.

The suit asks for a jury trial and says damages will be determined at trial.

News Source :
Gn usa

jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
Back to top button