Safety Law News for January 16, 2015

  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled that use of twist-lock by an SRO to arrest a nine-year-old student who was accused of stealing school property did not violate the Fourth Amendment prohibition of excessive force. [Hawker v. Sandy City, No. 13–4139 (10th Cir. Dec. 5, 2014)
  • The U.S. District Court in New Mexico ruled that a school resource officer had probable cause to arrest a disabled student for battery of a fellow student and a teacher.  The SRO did not have duty to investigate whether student’s disability rendered her incapable of forming requisite intent for battery of school employee before arresting her.  [J.H. ex rel. J.P. v. Bernalillo County]. 
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that a public high school student’s suspension and transfer as discipline for his off-campus Internet posting of a vulgar rap song that criticized two named male athletic coaches was a violation of his freedom of speech under the First Amendment.  [Bell v. Itawamba County School Bd.]
  • The U.S. District Court in Louisiana ruled that an SRO should have known that it is unlawful excessive force to slam a student into walls when the student is not resisting arrest, attempting to escape, or otherwise posing a threat at the time of the seizure. [Curran v. Aleshire].