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5 charged after Indiana special needs student, 7, is forced to eat his own vomit with a spoon, police say

The charges stem from an incident in February at Brown Elementary School in Brownsburg.

Four Indiana elementary school staff members and a behavioral technician were charged after a 7-year-old special education student was allegedly forced to eat his own vomit with a spoon.

Sara Seymour, 27; Debra Kanipe, 63; Julie Taylor, 48; Kristen Mitchell, 38; and Megan King, 24, were all charged with misdemeanor failure to report, Brownsburg police said Wednesday on Facebook.

Seymour and Kanipe were also charged with felony neglect of a dependent, police said.

The charges stem from an incident in February at Brown Elementary School in Brownsburg, about 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

Authorities said the video showed the student seated at a table in the cafeteria. The boy was eating his lunch and then stood up, appearing to gag on his food. Seymour, a life skills teacher, appeared to tell him to sit down, police said.

Seymour allegedly told the child that if he vomited, he would be required to eat what the threw up, police said. Taylor, a life skills teacher, was present and gave the boy a tray, the release says.

Police said the child vomited on the tray and the table. Kanipe, a life skills instructional aid, allegedly handed the boy a spoon. The child was forced to use the spoon to eat the vomit and then clean up the rest with paper towels, police said.

"Both Seymour and Kanipe stood at each side of the child while he consumed a portion of the vomit," the news release says. "Mitchell and King were present and witnessed the incident."

King is a behavioral technician with K1ds Count Therapy, a third-party contractor with the school. The company did not immediately reply to a request for comment Thursday.

Brownsburg police were notified of the incident on April 12, shortly after the school was made aware of it. The Hendricks County Prosecutor's Office filed the charges Tuesday.

Online jail records show that Seymour and Kanipe were arrested Wednesday and released the same day. It is not clear whether they have obtained attorneys.

Superintendent Jim Snapp said in a news release April 17 that he was "deeply saddened by the actions of these staff members."

The termination process for Seymour and Kanipe has already begun, police said. A Brownsburg Community School Corp. spokesperson told NBC affiliate WTHR of Indianapolis that all involved employees will face termination when the school board meets next month.