Hypo: A 9th grader doesn't make the team. They're mad. They post something on social media & the school sees it. The student is suspended?

Should schools have the ability to regulate student speech that's made off campus, but which is related to on-campus activities?


A Cheerleader's Vulgar Message Prompts a First Amendment Showdown


5 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think the School District went overbroad. A reprimand would have been approairte. There are many cases like these. All the cases that I know of focus on whether conduct was on or off-ground and the severity of conduct. 

    In this case, the conduct was off-ground, it was primarily speech consisting F/U x 3 and the middle finger. Although, even the First Amendment rights are restricted on the school premises, it is not entirely abrogated and this one was off-grounds. I do not know if the Plaintiff was in her cheer leading uniform when she did that. If she were, I think the school would have a right to say and do something about it. Nonetheless, their action was a knee jerk type and they went overboard. 

    This was not a criminal act, mere and almost an automatic reaction to a disappointing notice. She is of young of age; and I believe her appeal will be sustained because suspension was highly disproportionate to her conduct. 

    The court will also consider the reaction was shared with her "friends," and not the school authorities.    

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    I'd consider that more of a reward than a punishment. The real punishment is being forced to participate in a glorified popularity contest. More kids should post garbage on social media with the goal of being suspended. YAY!! Didn't wanna go there anyway...

  • 2 months ago

    The school has every right to do that. 

  • 2 months ago

    i did read about the court case and no, i think the school was out of line.  criticism, even painfully delivered, is definitely free speech, imho.  judgement for the student.   [however, this does not allow or condone solicitation or urging to engage in criminal acts ... that sort of speech is, and should remain, illegal.]  -- grampa

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 2 months ago

    The free speech the Second Amendment is not absolutely free.  There are some things that are not protected by the First Amendment.  

    Incitive language, for example is not protected by the Second.  Nor is libelous language.  So if the student posted either incitive or libelous language against the school or its faculty, the school could take them and their parents/legal guardians to court.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.