Safety Law News for December 21, 2015

  • In New Mexico, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that the arrest of a student with special needs for kicking a teacher in violation of state law prohibiting battery upon school personnel did not constitute discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. [J.H. ex rel. J.P. v. Bernalillo County].
  • The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that a 17 year-old student was not in custody when he was interviewed by police in the counselor’s office of his high school. School officials did not participate in the interrogation, the student was told he was not under arrest, and there was evidence he had been advised he could leave whenever he wanted to do so. [Farra v. Commonwealth].
  • The Nebraska Court of Appeals ruled that a school official had reasonable suspicion to search the backpack of a student after hearing a “clunk” sound when the backpack was set down on a counter. There existed a “sufficient probability” that the sound was produced by a prohibited or illegal item, justifying the search that produced a knife. [In re Interest of Dana H.].
  • In Texas, the United States District Court ruled that school officials’ search of a sixth grade student while investigating an incident involving stink bombs was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. The student’s name came up multiple times, he admitted that he had stink bombs, which was violation of school rules, and during the search a weapon was found. [Deyo v. Tomball Independent School Dist.].