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IPS: Principal, assistant principal will not be at School 87 as investigation continues

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Posted at 10:17 PM, Apr 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-22 22:17:41-04

INDIANAPOLIS — An email sent to parents around 9 o'clock Sunday night alerted parents that the principal and assistant principal will not be at the school as the district investigates the climate at George Washington Carver School 87.

In the meantime, a petition with more than 700 signatures is being signed online by families demanding new leadership.

"We already have enough things to worry about when it when it comes to sending our kids to school and the staff shouldn't be one of those things," said Katie Yoder.

"So, we would like the removal of the principal immediately, mental health services for the children who are in the classroom," continued Katie Yoder.

The demand for change comes after video of a 7-year-old being attacked inside his classroom by another student surfaced last week after a lawsuit was filed.

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Investigators said the teacher was behind the lens recording the incident.

The boy's mother says the child has special needs, and voiced concerns repeatedly from the months of August through October over alleged abuse.

IPS said the teacher resigned in November.

"It's frustrating, worrisome to what we saw in the video. It was appalling and deeply concerning," said Brendan Maxcy.

Brendan Maxcy also has a second grader at George Washington Carver Montessori School #87.

"We feel like by chance he might've been in that classroom, he might've been a victim or a bystander so immediately thinking through how this might have effected our own child brought it home very very quickly," he said.

He said parents want accountability from the district.

"We are really, really concerned that the district waited so long to notify those parents of the children in the classroom, which delayed the opportunity for them to get care and counseling, which seems absolutely necessary given what they may have witnessed or experienced, and that could have occurred much, much earlier in the process. We are concerned that we didn't learn about this until, the news was breaking and that feels in some ways cynical," Maxcy said.

"We're talking about months that have gone by where small children, 7-year-old's have been in a classroom, who were all traumatized, and at the center of a DCS investigation. Their parents weren't given that information until the news broke the story and I just find that to be the horrendous, horrendous, just unspeakable," said Yoder.

Katie Yoder, started the petition "Justice for IPS #87"

She's also calling for a through investigation by a third party of who all had knowledge of the incident, comprehensive future reporting plan, a town hall, and an extension to the lottery deadline for families who want to change schools.

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"It's not a failure on IPS is fall apart or the principal's part that a teacher chose to make a horrendous decisions. It's a failure on both of those parties parts that they hid it in that they didn't disclose it to parents," said Yoder.

The district is in the process of interviewing parents and students.

Maxcy, says parents are also worried about feeling safe to report.

"We also heard from parents, when we met with the superintendent and the commissioner yesterday, that many of the teachers felt discouraged from reporting, and in many cases may have felt that they face reprisals if they did report. so we hope that the district immediately begins to work on the climate and the culture," said Maxcy.

WRTV reached out again to IPS about some of the parents' concerns and the changes they're asking for.

WRTV was told the district would share a statement but as of this afternoon we have not heard back.

Parents plan to bring their concerns to Thursday's school board meeting as well.

IMPD is investigating the case.

This story will be updated