A Free Speech Case or a School Overreach Case? - Granite Grok

A Free Speech Case or a School Overreach Case?

Brandi Levy

Is this a Free Speech Case or a School Overreach Case? Kind of both. Under the guise of Free Speech, a School Board is about to get their buttocks reddened by a policy that students (your kids) are THEIR kids 24/7/365.

And as such, they can “punish them” for anything they do outside of school hours and school grounds.


Supreme Court Signals Support for Cheerleader in Free Speech Case

U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday appeared ready to rule in favor of a former Pennsylvania high school cheerleader who was disciplined over a foul-mouthed social media post but cautiously approached the broader question of whether public schools can punish students for what they say off campus.

The nine justices heard nearly two hours of arguments in an appeal by the Mahanoy Area School District of a lower court ruling in favor of Brandi Levy that found that the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of free speech bars public school officials from regulating off-campus speech. The case could impact the free speech rights of America’s 50 million public school students.

The court pondered the competing issues of students having freedom of expression, especially political or religious views, and schools having the ability to prevent disruptions in the internet and social media era.

Its ruling, expected by the end of June, could clarify the limits of an important 1969 Supreme Court precedent that let public schools punish student speech when it would “substantially disrupt” a school community.

Basically, this Junior Varsity cheerleader was denied a spot on the Varsity team, and she went home and created a foul mouth response on Snapchat to show how upset she was over it. The school immediately booted her from the JV team for violating “rules.”

We were birthed as a nation of limits. Schools, in many ways, have been ignoring their natural limits on “loco parentis” for years – on school grounds during school hours. Period.

They can’t resist saying that bad things (according to them) done by students anywhere and at any time allows them to meet out any punishment they want.

That’s the overreach part that needs to be addressed even though much of this case is over Free Speech.

Frankly, the potty mouth crapola that streamed out of this young twit’s mouth (at the time) should have been addressed by her parents and a large bar of soap (Irish Spring is especially good for this purpose, btw). THEY are the ones that are responsible for the crassness and behavior of the then minor child – not the School. And if it had been one of my boys, *I* would have done the yanking from the team – not the school.

IMHO, I believe that a proper slap-down is due towards the School Board. What we are seeing is:

  • Overly broad “everything is connected to everything else,” so if something goes sideways (as the School Board decided) over here, it must right have ill effects over there. They’ve been saying/doing things like this for years and each time, absorbing more territory and actions over students. The end goal, illogically, is that the School would have more to do with student behaviors than the student or their parents. That’s not an overreach?
  • The adaption of the Social Justice Warrior ethos springing out of Feminist Theory of Intersectionality – every area of life is intimately touching and cross-linked to everything else to the point that everything is just a jumbled mess and non-compartmentalizable. Perfect – because whatever they say or accuse someone of is all but impenetrable for someone to defend against. This is what Critical Race Theory, in part, is based on (e.g., You’re always racist, and if you complain or try to defend yourself, it proves you’re racist).

Again, while this is being couched as a Free Speech issue, at some point, it seems like the Judiciary will need to reestablish the limited limits of the operation of School Boards when schools are not in session for cases like this. They AREN’T the Parents and should not be allowed to act as if they are, but this is the direction we’ve allowed them to go for decades.

“Whose children are they?”

A Death by a Thousand Cuts – or by a thousand pages of bureaucratic rules. TheRatchet Effect really does only work one way.

I included The Volokh Conspiracy link below (despite how it reads, it is a law blog that takes up all kinds of issues, gives a bit of court case background, and how this could turn out.

(H/T: IJR, The Volokh Conspiracy)