The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to take up an appeal in a case in which Neil M. Gorsuch, as an appeals-court judge writing in dissent, had been sharply critical of involving the police in the matter of a student who disrupted a class with “fake burps.”
With now-Justice Gorsuch recused because it was a case he had handled below, the high court declined without comment to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver, upholding a school resource officer’s arrest and handcuffing of a New Mexico 7th grader for disrupting his gym class.
The 10th Circuit panel had ruled that the officer was immune from liability because it was not clearly established whether the student’s classroom disruptions were in violation of a New Mexico law that prohibits interference with the “educational process” at any public or private school. It also upheld qualified immunity for the officer over his use of handcuffs when he took the 13-year-old from Cleveland Middle School in Albuquerque to a juvenile-detention center.
A version of this article appeared in the May 30, 2017 edition of Education Week as High Court Won’t Hear ‘Fake Burp’ Appeal