Indiana Teacher, Assault, Disabilities, Julious, Johnican, fight club, student with disabilities, first grader, second, Corrie Horan

Indiana Teacher Accused Of Starting ‘Fight Club’ Encouraging Classmates To Assault A Disabled 7-Year-Old

Indiana teacher orchestrated a Fight Club in which he encouraged classmates to physically assault a 7-year-old student with disabilities.

A lawsuit filed on April 16 in Marion County this week accuses former Indiana teacher Julious Johnican of orchestrating a “Fight Club” scenario in which he allegedly encouraged classmates to physically assault a 7-year-old student with disabilities, according to NBC News. The lawsuit also names Indiana Public Schools Superintendent Aleesia Johnson and George Washington Carver Montessori IPS School 87 Principal Mary Kapcoe among the defendants.

The suit alleges that Johnican, during the 2023-24 school year, organized the abusive environment over a span of three months, during which he allegedly instigated, facilitated, and even recorded on his phone physical abuse of the student by other students. Attorney Catherine Michael, representing the student’s family, described the teacher’s actions as “a reprehensible ‘fight club’ type of discipline.”

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has initiated an investigation into the allegations, while the school district has stated that the teacher was suspended and subsequently resigned before termination proceedings could commence. The district also clarified that they were not made aware of the allegations until the parent emailed the principal on October 30th. The lawsuit accuses Johnican of allowing other students to punch, hit, and kick the second-grader, resulting in emotional distress and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder for the child.

“In this horrifying setup, Johnican not only permitted but incited and facilitated other students to engage in acts of violence against seven-year-old O.D., which included at least three beatings and various forms of physical harm and bullying both for his own amusement or as a deeply disturbed disciplinary measure,” the suit stated.

During an interview with the Department of Child Services, the student recounted harrowing incidents detailed in the lawsuit, alleging that he endured assault twice in October. According to the suit, during one instance, Johnican purportedly restrained the child while a first-grader slapped his face. In another distressing incident, Johnican allegedly held the child’s shoulders as another student punched him in the stomach and kicked his legs.

The lawsuit encompasses a range of claims, including allegations of negligent care and supervision, negligent hiring and retention practices, and intentional infliction of serious emotional distress. 

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