Mother sues Noblesville Schools after aide slaps student on school bus

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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — The mother of a 10-year-old girl filed a civil lawsuit against Noblesville Schools over an incident in which her daughter was slapped on a school bus.

Elizabeth Hartman says her daughter has brain damage from a car crash. She was on the bus on May 3, 2019, when the incident occurred.

Video appeared to show the school bus aide, Francella Van Fossen, striking the girl on the bus. Van Fossen pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery in the case. A judge sentenced her to 10 days in the Hamilton County Jail plus 170 days of probation.

The lawsuit alleges that the district failed to adequately train and supervise Van Fossen. It also claims the district “failed in its duty to provide a safe environment” for her daughter.

The lawsuit claims the little girl suffered mental and physical damages after the incident. Her mother also claims mental anguish and distress.

The lawsuit seeks $700,000 for each claim against the district plus punitive damages and a jury trial.

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