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Brownsburg fires employees accused of forcing student to eat vomit

Charges were filed against four employees of Brown Elementary and a contracted worker
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Posted at 1:21 PM, May 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-09 13:35:06-04

BROWNSBURG — Five Brownsburg Community School Corporation employees have been fired or resigned after they were captured on video forcing a young student to eat his own vomit.

The school board announced the staffing updates during their meeting Monday night.

Two Life Skills teachers, two Life Skills Instructional Aides and a Kids Count Behavioral Technician were allegedly involved in the incident.

Several parents also weighed in on the case, including a grandmother who said her 7-year-old grandson is also part of the Life Skills Program.

"I just come here today to give my support to the family of the child that had to endure such a vile thing happen to him at school," she said to the board. "So many people involved... how could that many people willingly participate in such a horrible thing and not report it."

The Hendricks County Prosecutor's Office has filed the following charges in connection with the incident:

  • Sara Seymour, 27 (teacher) — Neglect of a dependent and failure to report
  • Debra Kanipe, 63 (instructional aid) — Neglect of a dependent and failure to report
  • Julie Taylor, 48 (teacher) — Failure to report
  • Kristen Mitchell, 38 (instructional aid) — Failure to report
  • Meghan King, 24 (behavioral technician at K1ds Count Therapy) — Failure to report

Brownsburg police were first contacted on April 12 regarding a report that a student had been mistreated during lunch. It was later determined that at least five adults were involved in the alleged incident.
Following the initial report, police requested a warrant to view surveillance video of the incident.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed against the five adults, a teacher and assistant in the Life Skills Program forced the student to eat his own vomit during lunch.

The incident happened in February at Brown Elementary School and was captured on surveillance video at the time. That video was not reviewed until two months later after the incident was eventually reported.

The video, according to court documents, shows one of the instructors telling the 7-year-old student that if they vomit while choking they will have to eat their vomit. The child is given a tray and then vomits on the tray. It then shows a second employee handing the child a spoon and telling them to eat their vomit. The child can then be seen eating some of the vomit off of the tray.

The child is then forced to clean up the vomit, according to police.

"You first see it and you are in disbelief and shock. Then, you move to anger and outrage. Then, you go back to disbelief and shock," Brownsburg Police Department Captain Jennifer Barrett told WRTV when the documents were first released.

The Hendricks County Prosecutor announced April 26 that charges have been filed against all five of the adults involved.