A case for the school psychs!

What caught my attention about the case from New York was the fact that it involved a school psychologist being accused of doing things school psychs are rarely accused of: the use of excessive force.  Claims about force are usually focused on the assistant principal or the coach.

The court dismissed the claim that the school psychologist used excessive force with the student, noting the absence of a claim of physical injury, and no facts showing a malicious motive. Key Quote:

While Fischer’s attempts to get WV to pay attention in class by removing his desk and chair may have been ill-advised, they involved no application of force, no physical injuries, and served the legitimate purpose of preventing WV from resting his head on the desk. 

There you go.

The court also tossed out the parent’s retaliation claim, noting that “heated interactions” with school personnel are not “adverse actions.”  The parent also failed to establish facts that would show a causal connection between her advocacy for her child and any act of retaliation.  The court noted that the parent strongly advocated for her child for a decade.  “Without more than mere temporal proximity, Plaintiff fails to plead a retaliation claim as to the denials and failures to respond to her requests.” 

It's Vinluan v. Ardsley Union Free School District, decided by the federal court for the Southern District of New York in 2021. We found it on Special Ed Connection at 78 IDELR 164.


Got a question or comment for the Dawg?  Let me hear from you at jwalsh@wabsa.com

Tomorrow: the cops asked us to slow down…