Lawsuit accuses teacher of attempting to sicken autistic student

Legal news for Indiana personal injury attorneys. A special education teacher allegedly tried to give an autistic boy with a peanut allergy a Mr. Goodbar.

Indiana personal injury attorney alerts- A special education teacher tried to make an autistic boy with a peanut allergy sick by giving him a Mr. Goodbar.

Indianapolis, IN—A special education teacher allegedly tried to purposely sicken an 8-year-old autistic student who suffers from a severe peanut allergy, so he could not go on a class field trip. The school district announced on Friday, October 9, 2009, that they filed a report with Child Protection Services (CPS) after learning of the alleged abuse, which occurred on March 16, as reported by the Indianapolis Star.

A lawsuit filed by the mother of the autistic boy, Anita Young, was filed on September 22nd in the Marion County Circuit Court. The lawsuit alleged a teacher at RISE Learning Center in Indianapolis, identified as Trinda Barocas, told an aide in the classroom that the boy would probably misbehave on the class field trip to the Indianapolis Zoo and “maybe he could be sick enough not to attend and we wont have to deal with it.” In an attempt to make the boy sick, Barocas gave the boy a Mr. Goodbar, which is full of peanuts.

The boy reportedly gets hives, and would asphyxiate in minutes if he merely touches peanuts. The boy did not eat the candy bar because like most autistic children, they will not eat anything that is unfamiliar to them. The boy apparently did not recognize the yellow paper the candy bar was wrapped in. The lawsuit also claims a classroom aide reported to school officials that the special education teacher treated the boy like a “caged animal.” The boy was reportedly kept in a cubicle for hours, which should have only used for brief times. Barocas, who has worked at the school since August 2008, no longer works at the school and claimed she never tried to prevent the boy from going on the field trip.

The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) investigated the classroom aide’s allegations and revealed that Barocas “did not want (the boy) to attend the field trip to the Indianapolis Zoo because of his behavior.” The DCS report also states the aide accused Barocas of hitting a 9-year-old girl with Down syndrome on the lip. The lawsuit is seeking undisclosed damages, and stated school officials should have been aware of the abuse and protected the boy. The Department of Education, Marion County prosecutors, Indiana Department of Child Services, Child Protection Services are all reportedly investigating the case.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for personal injury lawyers in Indiana.