Parents of a student sued their child’s teacher after a report was made to Child Protective Services, alleging that the child’s father physically abused and medically neglected his son. The evidence presented to the court showed that the student discussed a hunting accident while in the teacher’s class. He told the class and his teacher that, while he was hunting with his father, he was hit by four pieces of birdshot. He stated that his father asked whether he wanted to go to the hospital, but he said he wanted to finish the day hunting. The student and his father went to the hospital later, where a doctor recommended not removing the birdshot because surgery would be more invasive than leaving it in place.

After this discussion, CPS received a report that the student had been shot and was required to wait over an hour before receiving medical treatment. When CPS followed up on the report, it was revealed that the hunting accident had occurred two years prior. 

The parents' lawsuit alleged that the teacher made a false report to CPS about the father. In response, the teacher requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, arguing that she was immune from suit because she was acting in the scope of her duties as a teacher when she questioned the student about the hunting accident. The court dismissed the lawsuit and the parents appealed to the court of appeals.

The court of appeals agreed that teacher was immune from suit. A classroom teacher is generally immune from suit for any act that is within the scope of the teacher’s duties. In this case, the court noted that a classroom teacher has a duty to report suspected child abuse or neglect and to reasonably inquire into suspected abuse or neglect for purposes of making the report. Because the teacher has these duties, the court of appeals found that she was acting in the course and scope of her employment when she asked the student about the incident and his injuries and was therefore immune from suit. The court of appeals held that the case should be dismissed and also ordered the parents to pay any attorneys’ fees and court costs that the teacher may have incurred while defending the lawsuit.