A seven-year-old special education student was mistreated during lunch when staff members of an elementary school in Brownsburg, Indiana, told him to eat his own vomit, investigators say.

The Hendricks County Prosecutor’s Office has filed criminal charges against the five staff members – Life Skills teachers Sara Seymour, Debra Kanipe, Julie Taylor, Kristen Mitchell, and registered behavioral technician Megan King – in connection with the incident that took place in February but was reported April 12.


The Brownsburg Police Department, who have reviewed video evidence of the encounter, said that the incident occurred when Seymour, 27, told the seven-year-old student that if he vomits, he will have to eat whatever he has thrown up. The child proceeded to throw up on a tray provided by Taylor.


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Kanipe, 63, then provided the child with a spoon before she and Seymour stood on either side of the boy as he at a portion of his vomit, before later using paper towels to clean what remained. Mitchell and King witnessed the incident, but none of the staff members reported the incident.

All five staff members have been charged with a Class B misdemeanor for failure to report, but Seymour and Kanipe have received an additional Level 6 felony charge for neglect of a dependent and their termination process has already begun, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The Brownsburg Community School Corporation released a statement to the parents, announcing that on April 17, they “moved forward with termination for two staff members after learning of the mistreatment of a Life Skills student in their care at lunch” and revealed the criminal charges brought against the staff members.

“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,” the statement read.

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