Quantcast

FREE SPEECH: Supreme Court Rules for Cursing Student After She Didn’t Make Cheerleading Team

'F——— school f——— softball f——— cheer f——— everything...'

(Associated Press) The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a Pennsylvania public school wrongly suspended a cheerleader over a vulgar social media post she made after she didn’t qualify for the varsity team.

The court voted 8-1 in favor of Brandi Levy, who was a 14-year-old high school freshman when she expressed her disappointment over not making the varsity cheerleading squad on Snapchat with a string of curse words and a raised middle finger.

Levy, of Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, was not in school when she made her post, but she was suspended from cheerleading activities for a year anyway.

In an opinion by Justice Stephen Breyer, the high court ruled that the suspension violated Levy’s First Amendment rights.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

But the justices did not foreclose schools from disciplining students for what they say off campus.

An earlier federal appeals court ruling in this case would have barred public schools from punishing off-campus speech.

Breyer wrote that “we do not believe the special characteristics that give schools additional license to regulate student speech always disappear when a school regulates speech that takes place off campus. The school’s regulatory interests remain significant in some off-campus circumstances.”

The case arose from Levy’s posts, one of which pictured her and a friend with raised middle fingers and repeated use of a vulgarity to complain that she had been left off the varsity cheerleading squad.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

“F——— school f——— softball f——— cheer f——— everything,” she wrote near the end of her freshman year. Now 18, Levy recently finished her first year of college.

Levy’s parents filed a federal lawsuit after the cheerleading coach suspended her from the junior varsity team for a year.

Lower courts ruled in Levy’s favor, and she was reinstated.

The school district appealed to the Supreme Court after the broad appellate ruling that said off-campus student speech was beyond schools’ authority to punish.

The dispute is the latest in a line of a cases that began with Tinker v. Des Moines, the Vietnam-era case of a high school in Des Moines, Iowa, that suspended students who wore armbands to protest the war. In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court sided with the students, declaring students don’t “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

The court also held then that schools retained the authority to restrict speech that would disrupt the school environment.

Breyer wrote that Levy’s case seemed less serious than its Vietnam-era predecessor.

“It might be tempting to dismiss B.L.’s words as unworthy of the robust First Amendment protections discussed herein. But sometimes it is necessary to protect the superfluous in order to preserve the necessary,” he wrote, using Levy’s initials because that was how she was identified in the original lawsuit.

Levy has granted numerous interviews allowing her name to be used.

In dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that he would have upheld Levy’s suspension.

- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

WHERE’S HIPPA? State to Text Pennsylvanians Who Missed 2nd COVID-19 Shot

(Christen Smith, The Center Square) In an effort to boost the statewide COVID-19 vaccination rate, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said residents who missed their...

‘1619 Project’, Touted as ‘Racial Reckoning’, Ignores Democrat Party Racism

(Mark Hemingway, RealClearInvestigations) Democrats who advanced a bill in June to remove statues of white supremacists from the U.S. Capitol ignored a central fact...

Biden Plans Vax Mandate for Foreign Visitors… Except Those at Border?

(Headline USA) As illegal immigration helps drive the second major wave of the coronavirus pandemic in pro-freedom states where many remain unvaccinated, foreigners who...

Dems Concerned After Facebook Censors NYU Researchers over Ads Project

(Headline USA) Two Democrats who have been supportive of Facebook's censorship of conservative dissenters expressed their 'concern' about the company's suppression of left-wing research...

Pennsylvania Dems Demand Photo ID to Buy Ammo… But Not to Vote

Democratic lawmakers in Pennsylvania have introduced two bills to restrict and tax ammunition purchases, as well as to number and monitor each round sold,...

Whole Foods CEO: Businesses ‘Taking Political Positions’ Is a ‘Mistake’

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on Tuesday said it is a "mistake" for businesses to express political opinions, the Epoch Times reported. "They should be...

Left Mystified as McConnell Signals Support for $1T Infrastructure Package

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had vowed to be “100% focused” on stopping President Joe Biden’s agenda. But when it comes to the pending...

JUSTICE DEPT.: Many Reentering Arizona Illegally are Repeat Violent Criminals

(Bethany Blankley, The Center Square) Many who have entered the U.S. illegally have already been convicted of killing Americans, says a report by the U.S...

Texas Congressman Says State Should Shut Down ALL Roads from Mexico Border

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, argued his home state should consider shutting down all roads that connect to Mexico, to force the Biden administration to...
- Advertisement -