Temporarily removing M.C., given the threat he often posed to the emotional, psychological, and physical safety of the students and teachers, was eminently reasonable...We therefore find that there was no Fourth Amendment violation here, and that the three individual defendants are entitled to qualified immunity on this claim.Originally Ms. Couture had filed an administrative action against APS and the individual defendants based on violations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Rehabilitation Ac, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. These claims were dismissed and Ms. Couture appealed to the Federal District Court of New Mexico, where she added the claims that her son's constitutional rights were violated.
The district court found that the timeouts were designed both to punish M.C., and to educate him. Under either rationale, there has been no constitutional violation...To determine what process is due, courts must balance: (1) the private interests that will be affected by the official action; (2) the risk of erroneous deprivation; and (3) the burden on the government from additional procedural requirements... We are reluctant to limit a teacher’s ability to manage her classroom by requiring her to give the student a “hearing” of some form.
In 2005, the US Supreme Court ruled that parents who challenge special education programs for not meeting their children's needs must bear the burden of proving the programs' inadequacies, and that school officials need not meet any burden of proof in the matter. In 2004, President George W. Bush signed IDEA, legislation designed to ensure that students with disabilities would have special education teachers with the necessary skills and training. Bush was subsequently criticized for underfunding the related programs.