Rushville superintendent says school attack caught on camera is isolated incident

2nd family files tort claim against district

RUSHVILLE, Ind. - School leaders claim the assault of a 13-year-old boy that was caught on video is an isolated incident, but another family has come forward with a similar report.

The original incident happened Sept. 17 between rows of lockers at Rushville's Benjamin Rush Middle School.

The video shows Austin McDaniel, 13, being repeatedly punched and pushed to the ground by another student.

Rushville police said the 15-year-old assailant admitted to attacking McDaniel and was arrested.

McDaniel's parents, who have filed a tort claim against Rush County Schools, allege the school waited more than an hour to call them after the assault and initially did not call 911.

McDaniel suffered cuts, bruises and a head injury during the attack.

In a statement Thursday, Rush County School Superintendent John E. Williams stressed that students and staff at the school are in a safe environment.

"The matter at hand is an isolated incident and has been dealt with following policy and Indiana state law," Williams said.

But the family of another Benjamin Rush Middle School student, Logan Thompson, who is a friend of McDaniels', has also filed a tort claim against the district in a separate but similar incident.

The boy's parents claim he was harassed, bullied and attacked by another student, who hit him in the head at school, causing him to fall and be knocked unconscious.

The boy suffered a concussion as a result of the September attack, according to a police report.

"The school's negligence includes, but is not limited to, failing to take reasonable measures to protect L.T. from humiliations, taunting, bullying, assault, battery, emotional and/or physical harm by failing to appropriately supervise the children," the torn claim reads. "L.T. was so traumatized that he now constantly is looking over his shoulder because he is concerned that he will be suddenly attacked."

Williams told RTV6 the Thompsons' tort claim has been turned over to the school district's attorney and insurance carrier.

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