J.W. v. Paley
It is critical that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals clarify that the Fourth Amendment applies to the use of force against schoolchildren. J.W. v. Paley involves Fourteenth and Fourth Amendment claims stemming from a police officer tasing a high school student with disabilities who was attempting to exit the school building to calm down following an incident with another student. The district court dismissed the Fourteenth Amendment claim based on precedent, but allowed the Fourth Amendment claim to proceed, denying qualified immunity to the officer. The Fifth Circuit, however, reversed the lower court’s decision regarding the Fourth Amendment claim, ultimately leaving schoolchildren without any constitutional protection from excessive force by law enforcement in the Fifth Circuit.