3 Lawrence North High School students accused of burning classmate with lighter

No arrests made

LAWRENCE, Ind. - Surveillance video from a school bus on which a Lawrence North High School student claims he was burned with a lighter by three classmates shows no evidence of an attack, school officials said Tuesday.

According to a police report, a 17-year-old boy was riding the bus home Monday when three other boys, two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old, began harassing him.

Lawrence Township Schools officials said video from the bus shows three boys taking the 17-year-old's hat at throwing it, but not what he claims happened next.

"We interviewed the students who were involved, who said they took his hat and threw it. We interviewed the bus driver. Other than the incident with the hat, noting else occurred on the bus," said district spokeswoman Mary Louise Bewley.

The 17-year-old's grandmother told police that one of the younger boys then pulled out a lighter and threatened the 17-year-old, trying to burn the whiskers off his chin, attempting to set his pants on fire and holding the flame to the boy's ear.

According to the police report, the 17-year-old's ear was red and he complained of pain.

"They lit the lighter and put it to the back of his ear, and it was all red," she told RTV6. "No blisters, but it was really red. And they burned a black spot on the leg of his pants."

The 17-year-old's grandmother told police that the boy, who has a learning disability, has had problems in the past with the same boys harassing him.

"This has been going on since October. I've contacted the police before about these same three boys. I've contacted the school, and they said they would talk to the boys and tell them to leave (him) alone," she said.

School officials said all of the boys involved are special needs students. The three boys accused in the attack have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

No arrests had been made Tuesday. Police said the investigation is in its preliminary stages.

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