Family may sue Rushville Schools over attack caught on video

13-year-old boy beaten near lockers

RUSHVILLE, Ind. - The family of a 13-year-old Rushville boy who was beaten up in a school attack caught on video may sue the district.

The incident happened Sept. 17 at Benjamin Rush Middle School.

The video, which was obtained exclusively by RTV6, shows Austin McDaniel, 13, walking by a bank of lockers when he's approached by a 15-year-old boy.

The older boy pulls McDaniel to the ground and punches him repeatedly, with the attack lasting for nearly a minute while other students look on, the video shows.

Rushville police said the 15-year-old later admitted to assaulting McDaniel, saying he heard a rumor that the younger boy was going to beat him up.

He was arrested and released into the custody of his mother, police said.

McDaniel suffered cuts, bruises and a head injury during the attack, his mother, Nicole McDaniel, told RTV6.

"I was absolutely sickened. It was one of the most awful things I've ever had to watch," she said of the video. "It's mortifying to literally watch your son be beaten and there's nothing you can do to help him, and there's no one there to help him, no one."

Nicole McDaniel said the school waited more than an hour to call her after the assault and did not call 911. She also said the school hasn't done enough to notify parents and students about the assault.

The family's attorney has filed a tort claim against Rush County Schools.

"There were no teachers anywhere near where this happened," said attorney Ron Frazier. "This happened 50 feet from the office. How can a child be beaten within 50 feet of the school's office? It's just totally unacceptable."

Austin McDaniel is back at school, and his mother said the 15-year-old student is not.

"All I've been told is he will be out for awhile," Nicole McDaniel said.

The family wants school administrators to address the attack and do a better job to prevent violent bullying.

"It's very disheartening they took a shove-it-under the rug tactic," Nicole McDaniel said. "This school has to put their foot down that this is zero-tolerance and this is just not acceptable."

The school district superintendent declined to comment on the advice of his attorney. RTV6 was unable to reach the family of the 15-year-old boy involved in the attack.

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