Supreme Court rules for cheerleader in case involving school rules, free speech on social media

·1 min read

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in a major free speech case involving when schools can enforce rules of conduct on social media.

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The case involves Brandi Levy, who didn't make the varsity cut as a freshman cheerleader for her school, posting a vulgar message to the social media app Snapchat saying, "'F school, F cheer, F softball, F everything,'" she recounted to ABC News Live. Days later, Lee’s school accused her of breaching a code of conduct and suspended her from cheerleading for an entire year.

Her Snapchat post and the punishment that followed were at the center of a major case that tested the boundaries of school discipline and the rights of students to free speech.

The court held that, "While public schools may have a special interest in regulating some off-campus student speech, the special interests offered by the school are not sufficient to overcome B. L.’s interest in free expression in this case."

The ruling was 8-1. It was written by Justice Stephen Breyer and only Justice Clarence Thomas dissented.

PHOTO: The Supreme Court building stands in Washington, D.C., Nov. 5, 2020. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP, FILE)
PHOTO: The Supreme Court building stands in Washington, D.C., Nov. 5, 2020. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP, FILE)

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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. It has not addressed how school-related speech expressed off-campus can be handled until now.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Supreme Court rules for cheerleader in case involving school rules, free speech on social media originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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