Lawsuit Alleges Classroom ‘Fight Club’ in Indianapolis School

( – A Marion County, Indianapolis mother has filed a lawsuit against George Washington Carver School and an elementary school teacher, Julious Johnican, who she alleges orchestrated a “fight club-style” discipline between classmates, including her 7-year-old special needs son.

The lawsuit, filed against Johnican, a substitute teacher, several school administrators, and the district, alleges administrators ignored her son’s allegations and failed to protect him.

According to the lawsuit, the unnamed mother alleges Johnican condoned students fighting with each other on multiple occasions in the classroom. At the beginning of the school year, her son, who suffers from an executive function disorder, sensory sensitivities, and probable learning disabilities, told her about the “fight club-style” punishment occurring in his classroom. When she first confronted the school about the allegations, her claims were ignored by administrators.

However, during a November 1st parent-teacher conference, the mother says that while Johnican attempted to show her a video of his safe classroom environment, he mistakenly showed her video footage on his phone of another student attacking her son.

The video shows a classmate shouting, “Don’t mess with me,” while he repeatedly punches her son. The teacher is heard in the video saying, “That’s right. You get him.” At the end of the video, the student who hit her son says, “I’m gonna get him again,” to the teacher, who responds that he knows the student wants “to get him when he does things.”

The lawsuit alleges the teacher not only “encouraged” and “instigated” the fight club punishment but that, on at least two occasions, he also held her son down while other students attacked him.

When Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) investigators asked Johnican about the video, he stated he recorded the incident as proof “of what was happening” between the two students, who he claimed were “sometimes friends” though they had “many negative engagements.” He told investigators he did not have the patience to interfere with the fighting. However, according to the DCS report, investigators found a “preponderance of evidence” to support the boy’s claims.

Johnican resigned because of the video.

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