Parents sued a school district, a teacher, and a principal after their son was killed while driving the teacher’s all-terrain vehicle. The ATV was owned by the Ag Mechanics teacher. Students routinely worked on the teacher’s farm, with the knowledge and consent of the principal, as part of their coursework. The students were permitted to drive the ATV on these occasions. On the day of the accident, the students were cleaning pigs at the farm. The teacher instructed two students to deliver a tool to a neighboring ranch. On the return trip, the student lost control of the ATV and struck a tree. The passenger survived, but the student who was driving died.

The parents alleged that the teacher removed their son from school without their permission, instructed him to ride double on an ATV despite the fact that he did not have a driver’s license, did not properly instruct him on how to operate the ATV, and did not provide him with any safety gear. They also alleged that the ATV was not properly maintained.

The district, teacher, and principal requested that the suit be dismissed because they were immune from suit. The district court agreed and dismissed the case. The parents appealed. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which oversees Texas, agreed that dismissal was appropriate. The district, principal, and teacher did not act with deliberate indifference towards the student. Their actions were, at most, negligent. Therefore, they could not be sued.