Matthew and Nicole McDaniel have filed a lawsuit against Rush County Schools alleging that the local school district failed to protect and supervise students.
The suit stems from a violent attack against their son, Austin, that took place Sept. 17, 2012, at Benjamin Rush Middle School.
A video of the incident shows Austin McDaniel, who was 13 at the time, walking near some free-standing lockers when he is approached by another student and attacked. The other student involved, identified as “K.N.” in the court documents, was reportedly 15 at the time of the incident.
The video shows K.N. knocking McDaniel to the ground and punching him repeatedly, with the attack lasting for nearly a minute while other students stood by and watched.
The attack took place approximately 50 feet from the front desk at BRMS but no school personnel appear in the video.
The lawsuit said Austin suffered a concussion, hematomas on his scalp, damage to his teeth and cuts to his lips.
The lawsuit further states the school district has a duty to supervise its students and prevent abuse, assault and battery.
The McDaniels are seeking a jury trial and compensatory damages from the school corporation.
Court documents state that K.N. had told multiple students he was planning on “beating up” McDaniel days prior to the attack and that K.N. was on juvenile probation at the time.
Also, the court documents state that upon the attack taking place two students immediately attempted to locate school staff members for help but were unable to find anyone nearby.
The complaint further states that Austin McDaniel “has been traumatized by the situation and does not feel safe at school as he once did.”
The McDaniels are also taking exception to a delay in being notified about the attack on their son, noting in their complaint that it took school officials one hour and 12 minutes to notify Nicole McDaniel about the incident.
K.N. was later arrested on a charge of battery and released to the custody of his mother. Rush County Prosecutor Phil Caviness said Thursday that K.N. remains on probation as a result of that charge.
The McDaniels filed their lawsuit April 4, 2013, in Rush County Court.
Rush County Schools Superintendent Dr. John Williams said he was aware of this matter and that it has been turned over to the school corporation’s insurance company.
Contact: Kevin Green @ 765.932.2222 x108