In a landmark decision on campus free speech, the Supreme Court has now ruled on an 8 to 1 vote on Mahanoy Area School District v. BL that the social media speech of students made on campus is protected by the First Amendment.
The case involved a disgruntled cheerleader, BL a student at Mahanoy Area High School in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, who tested for the school’s varsity cheerleading squad.
If he didn’t make the varsity happy, he was given a spot on the junior varsity team on the cheerleading squad.
Justice Stephen Breyer stated that there was sufficient restraint:
“BL didn’t accept the coach’s decision with good grace, especially since the squad coaches put a freshman entry on the varsity team.”
BL met a friend at Cocoa Hut, a local store, and used his phone to post the two photos on Snapchat.
In the first image, both BL and his friend are shown with half fingers with a caption:
“F ** k school f ** k softball f ** k cheer f ** k everyone.”
In the second image, there is a caption, which reads:
“Loved how I was and was told we needed a year jv before we went to varsity but it didn’t matter to anyone else?”
Critical, he was off campus to post on Snapchat on the day of the weekend.
A lower court ruled the school was out of step by kicking BL to the junior varsity squad, but the school district appealed. – READ MORE
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