BROWNSBURG — Five adults are facing criminal charges after they were captured on video forcing an elementary student to eat his own vomit, according to documents filed against them.
UPDATE: The Brownsburg Community School Corporation board voted to terminate the employees involved in this incident on Monday.
The Hendricks County Prosecutor announced April 26 that charges have been filed against two Life Skills teachers, two Life Skills Instructional Aides, and a Kids Count Behavioral Technician who is contracted by the school.
According to police, the five individuals mistreated a seven-year-old student who is part of the Life Skills Program of the school.
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 police, the video 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.
The video, according to court documents, 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 said. "The family did not want to view the video, and that's completely understandable."
All four involved employees are on the May school board agenda as possible terminations.
Immediately following contact with police, all involved employees and the contracted worker were placed on leave and are not allowed to have contact with any students.
The other employees involved witnessed the incident happen, according to police.
"All five of them should understand they were charged to be better stewards of children. We all are, but in this case, they were entrusted with children in this community and at the end of the day, they failed. They failed our children, they failed that child and they failed all of us," Barrett said.
On Wednesday, Brownsburg Schools released the following message to parents.
On Monday, April 17, we shared with Brown Elementary families and staff that BCSC had moved forward with termination for two staff members after learning of the mistreatment of a life skills student in their care at lunch. BCSC has been notified that these two staff members will be charged by the Hendricks County Prosecutor. Two other staff members are also being charged for their roles in failing to report the incident. More details are forthcoming from the Brownsburg Police Department (BPD).
As BPD releases more information about this incident, please know that the BCSC family will continue to be steadfast in our commitment to Brownsburg students, their safety, and their well-being. This horrendous action is not in line with the character of staff and teachers at Brownsburg Schools. The shocking actions of a few does not define the care and concern that Brownsburg teachers and staff show every day.