A.M. v. Ann Holmes, Case Nos. 14-2066; 14-2183

The majority opinion of the United State District Court of New Mexico allows for law enforcement officers to arrest schoolchildren for behavior that purportedly disrupts the classroom, even if that behavior is typical of children such as burping, laughing, or leaning into the classroom from the hallway. Slip Op. at 33. This Brief of Amici Curiae, submitted in support of the appellant, A.M.,  has three arguments: (1) criminalizing ordinary schoolchildren’s behavior contrasts with the school’s responsibility to help prepare students for citizenship in our democracy, (2) allowing school-based arrests for classroom misconduct criminalizes normal childish behavior with possible harmful results in regards to the child’s education, health, and life chances, and (3) endorsing law enforcement with near unlimited discretion to arrest children results in harms children who are most at risk. The amici request a rehearing of this cases by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, en banc.

Brief of Amici Curiae