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Mother of girl with disabilities files lawsuit against Noblesville Schools over bus aide slap

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Posted at 11:45 AM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 09:03:11-04

NOBLESVILLE — The mother of a girl with disabilities has filed a lawsuit against the Noblesville school district accusing the corporation of failing to protect their daughter.

“RN” was a 10-year old 3rd grader attending Hinkle Creek Elementary when a Noblesville bus aide slapped the girl on a school bus.

“RN” has disabilities, including a brain injury, as a result of a car crash that killed her father.

Francella Van Fossen, struck the girl with an open right hand on the left side of her face, court documents said.

Van Fossen pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery.

The lawsuit alleges Noblesville Schools failed to provide proper supervision and training of its employee and should be held liable for the actions of its employees.

Noblesville Schools also failed in its duty to provide a safe environment for “RH,” the lawsuit alleges.

The mother and “RH” are seeking monetary damages for the mental anguish and distress stemming from the school district’s negligence, court documents show.

Noblesville Schools issued a statement to Call 6 Tuesday afternoon saying, “Student safety is our top priority and we have zero tolerance for behavior that puts our students at risk in any way. We immediately addressed this issue in collaboration with Noblesville Police upon learning of this situation and the bus aide in question is no longer employed with Noblesville Schools.”

Van Fossen claimed the girl bit her arm and touched her face, the court documents said.

Van Fossen was sentenced to 180 days in the Hamilton County Jail (170 days suspended) for a Class B Misdemeanor of Battery. She served 10 days in jail.