Victim of ex-IPS counselor sues district; alleges IPS turned blind eye

INDIANAPOLIS -- A victim of ex-IPS counselor Shana Taylor has filed suit in federal court alleging Indianapolis Public Schools knew of Taylor’s misconduct involving students and turned a “blind eye” to the abuse.

The victim, identified as A.H., is suing IPS under Title IX, alleging they failed to keep him safe in his school environment and did not adequately supervise and train its staff at Positive Supports Academy in the Longfellow Alternative School.

A.H. was 16 years old at the start of the 2015-2016 school year, records show.

“Taylor was given free reign over IPS’s counseling and guidance programs at Positive Supports Academy which she used to sexually abuse, harass, and injure A.H.” read the lawsuit filed on November 8. 

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The lawsuit alleges IPS discovered a pattern of male students missing class only to be found in Taylor’s office, and the district responded by moving Taylor’s office to the main level near the principal’s office.

Taylor would remove A.H. from his classroom two or more times a day for the purpose of sex in her office, the lawsuit alleged.

The counselor also contacted A.H. using Facebook and engaged in sexual activity outside of school as well, said the suit.

IPS failed to investigate the underlying cause of A.H.’s unauthorized absences, the lawsuit alleged.

The district also failed to establish rules and safeguards to students during counseling sessions, said A.H.

IPS was aware Taylor provided gifts and special treatment to male students, locked her door and covered the windows of her office during school hours, the lawsuit said.

Taylor became jealous of A.H.’s relationship with a female student, and place him on a half-day schedule which meant A.H. missed educational services and opportunities.

After A.H.’s mother reported Taylor’s abuse on February 17, 2016, IPS continued to have A.H. on the half-day schedule, “effectively punishing A.H.” by placing him in the schedule “orchestrated by his abuse.”

The lawsuit also takes exception with IPS waiting six days to report the suspected abuse.

Call 6 Investigates has reached out to IPS for a comment on A.H’s federal lawsuit. 

The president of the Indianapolis Public Schools Board told Call 6 Investigates last year the district is making changes in an effort to prevent future incidents of failure to report child abuse allegations, including improved training and policy changes.

CALL 6 | IPS making changes following failures to report

Shana Taylor reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in which she will serve six years on home detention, and will not have to register as a sex offender.

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A.H.’s attorney Eric Schmadeke filed a similar lawsuit against IPS in 2015, alleging they could have prevented sexual assault involving then vice principal Corey Greenwood.

Records show the Corey Greenwood case reached a settlement in March 2016.

Taylor pleaded guilty to three felony counts of dissemination of matter harmful to minors. Taylor's agreed sentence is six years on home detention. She can't have contact with the victims.

CALL 6 | IPS counselor arrested on child seduction charges

IPS is facing another lawsuit from two former employees over the handling of the Shana Taylor case.

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