Golden Gate University Law Review


Rachael Crim


During the 2002-2003 school year, the mother of a pre-school aged, non-verbal, autistic child became concerned when her child came home with unexplained bruises and began exhibiting violent behavior. The mother brought an action on behalf of herself and her child seeking relief under the Individuals with Disabilities Act ("IDEA"), Americans with Disabilities Act, and claimed constitutional violations under Section 1983. In Preschooler II v. Clark County School Board of Trustees, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held: 1) teacher's alleged conduct in beating, slapping, and head-slamming child violated Fourth Amendment rights for purposes of a section 1983 claim; 2) teacher allegedly making child walk from school bus without shoes did not involve excessive force or other abuse that was violative of the Fourth Amendment; 3) teacher was not entitled to qualified immunity with respect to hitting and head-slapping claims; 4) supervisory liability claims were stated against school officials; and 5) school officials were not entitled to qualified immunity.