A former Fishers High School student is suing football coach Rick Wimmer and the school, saying they denied the teenager his civil rights and failed to protect him after a 2016 incident during class.
Jayden Bond and his mother, Joniece Brooks, said in a federal lawsuit that Wimmer, who also teaches physical education, “knowingly and intentionally touched Jayden Bond in a rude, insolent or angry manner” when he was late for class Sept. 13, 2016.
Wimmer then kicked Bond off the football team, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit, in the U.S. District for the Southern District of Indiana, said Wimmer’s discipline was “racially discriminatory” against Bond, who is black. Wimmer is white.
A phone call to Wimmer on Wednesday was not returned. Hamilton Southeastern Schools, which the lawsuit also names as a defendant, released a statement Wednesday morning in response to the lawsuit.
“We are aware of a civil complaint regarding allegations from 2016 involving a teacher and a former student. The allegations were thoroughly investigated by HSE as well as law enforcement. We addressed the allegations. Law enforcement did not pursue any action. We are reviewing the civil complaint with legal counsel and do not plan to discuss the pending litigation outside of the court process.”
Wimmer was put on paid administrative leave following the incident before being reinstated as coach about two weeks later, on Sept. 26, 2016.
The district released little information at the time. A Fishers police report IndyStar obtained in 2016 said Wimmer instructed Bond to proceed to the back of the classroom after he arrived late for class, but Bond “refused to move.”
“In attempt to direct the student to the back of the room, the teacher placed his hands on the student’s shoulder and upper chest,” the report said. “The student immediately reacted and the teacher removed his hands. Both parties estimated the entire incident lasted approximately five seconds. The teacher and student then walked down to the Dean’s Office where school officials and the student’s mother were notified.”