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Locker room bullying leads to police probe

– A central Indiana high school has suspended two seniors and has begun supervising a locker room amid reports of the bullying of a freshman student that might involve sexual battery.

Staffers at Clinton Prairie High School alerted Child Protective Services to the incidents, and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department asked Indiana State Police to take over the investigation to avoid possible conflicts of interest.

The state police investigation involves potential incidents of sexual battery at the school about 40 miles northwest of Indianapolis, Sgt. Kim Riley said.

Superintendent Chris Sampson told WTHR-TV and the Lafayette Journal & Courier that the freshman who was the target of the bullying initially said two seniors pinned him down in a locker room last week and poked him in the ribs.

“The young man who was the target of the unwanted horseplay, so to speak, told us that nothing of a sexual nature happened. That he was not touched in any untoward situation. That he was poked in the ribs and that’s all that happened and he was fully clothed throughout the entire ordeal,” Sampson said.

However, that account conflicted with those of two student witnesses, and the freshman provided new details, Sampson said.

“It was something that happened up to three times since spring break. But it was enough of a change in his story that we felt we needed to investigate further,” Sampson said.

Sampson says two seniors implicated in the attacks were on track to graduate but now are “suspended pending expulsion.”

The school has instituted changes designed to prevent similar attacks.

“Clinton Prairie now requires supervision inside the locker room, and administrators are urging students to speak up for themselves and others,” Sampson said.

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