IPR News

Civil lawsuit says staff allowed abuse at Burris Laboratory School

by Stephanie Wiechmann

October 2, 2012

A local family has filed a civil lawsuit against Muncie’s Burris Laboratory School and Ball State University, saying Burris staff allowed their eight-year-old son to be sexually abused by several of his classmates.  The family – named John, Jane, and Junior Doe in court documents because of the son’s age – says their son was abused by several fellow second-grade classmates and the boys were given unsupervised access to the Internet at the school to look up pornography.    The lawsuit also names the son’s second grade teacher.

Burris is operated by Ball State University.  Ball State spokesman Tony Proudfoot says the allegations in the lawsuit are unwarranted.  He says the university reported concerns about several second grade students to the Indiana Department of Child Services in December of 2011.  Proudfoot says the lawsuit’s allegations do not match what was found in that investigation.  He also points out that “no adults were alleged to be perpetrators of abuse of any child.”  The lawsuit asks for compensation for the physical and emotional harm of the family and missed educational opportunities of the son.