SCOTUS Favors Profane Pennsylvania Cheerleader In Free-Speech Case

SCOTUS Favors Profane Pennsylvania Cheerleader In Free-Speech Case

Levy, who as a freshman in 2017 did not make the varsity cheer team, posted a profanity-laced rant on Snapchat, saying, "F-ck school f-ck softball f-ck cheer f-ck everything".

In a landmark ruling on Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that a Pennsylvania school district violated a student's free speech after she used explicit language regarding the school's cheerleading squad on Snapchat.

"We hesitate to determine precisely which of many school-related off-campus activities belong on such a list", Breyer wrote.

Witold "Vic" Walczak, the legal director of the Pennsylvania ACLU, previously told Insider that school districts effectively had the power to punish the nation's 50 million public-school students for any speech they deemed controversial, even if the students expressed the views off school grounds and outside of school hours.

"The school's regulatory interests remain significant in some off-campus circumstances", he maintained.

The ACLU sought to persuade the court to set a new precedent for how school districts can police student speech, arguing that existing laws and legal precedents gave too much leeway to districts. President Joe Biden's administration supported the district in the case, arguing that off-campus student speech deserves broad protection unless it threatens the school community or targets specific individuals, groups or school functions.

"It might be tempting to dismiss B".

The court, in a famous 1969 decision, said that students don't surrender their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate, but that educators can limit speech on school property when it's materially disruptive. "L.'s words as unworthy of the robust First Amendment protections discussed herein", Breyer said. Finally, Breyer wrote that public schools also have an interest in protecting Free Speech, because they serve as "nurseries of Democracy".

"A school can regulate speech when it occurs off campus, so long as it has a proximate tendency to harm the school, its faculty or students, or its programs", Thomas wrote. "Because the majority does not attempt to explain why we should not apply this historical rule and does not attempt to tether its approach to anything stable, I respectfully dissent". An attorney for Levy argued such harassing speech is already prohibited.

"Unlike Tinker, which involved a school's authority under a straightforward fact pattern, this case involves speech made in one location but capable of being received in countless others-an issue that has been aggravated exponentially by recent technological advances", Thomas wrote.

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