Five staff members at an Indiana school have been charged with neglect or failure to report neglect after a 7-year-old special education student was forced to eat his own vomit, authorities said.
According to the Brownsville Police Department, video showed the incident and the involvement of the staff members.
The Hendricks County Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday charged a teacher and instructional aide at Brown Elementary School in Brownsburg with neglect of a dependent and a second teacher, a second aide and a behavioral technician have been charged with failure to report the incident.
Police identified the staff members charged with neglect as teacher 27-year-old Sara Seymour and instructional aide 63-year-old Debra Kanipe. The staff membes charged with failure to report were identified as teacher 48-year-old Julie Taylor, instructional aide 38-year-old Kristen Mitchell and behavioral technician 24-year-old Megan King.
The teacher charged with neglect told the student during lunch that if he vomited, he would need to eat whatever he threw up, Brownsburg police said. The child vomited on a tray provided by the second teacher, and the aide charged with neglect then gave the child a spoon, police said.
The boy ate some of the vomit, then used paper towels to clean up what remained, police said. The alleged incident occurred in February.
The Brownsburg Community School Corp. said it learned of the incident on April 12 and removed the five staffers from contact with students and placed them on administrative leave. The termination process has already been started for Seymour and Kanipe, the district said.
Superintendent Jim Snapp said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by the actions of these staff members and will work in conjunction with our local law enforcement as they move forward with possible criminal charges.”