Supreme Court, The First Amendment, and The Cursing Cheerleader: Read It For Yourself

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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4 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    Personally, I think we give way too much power to schools to police off-campus behavior. It is nice to see that walked back a bit.

    It really should be limited to behavior that puts students at risk (bullying, substance abuse, etc.).

    A teenager having themselves a rant on social media is not something schools should get to take action on.Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      All of this is true, but putting it into a tidy doctrinal package for the guidance of lower courts is tricky, and it’s a fair cop to point out that the Supremes didn’t really try.
      That said, this may be one of those cases where a good example will accomplish more than a bad attempted theory. Judges will probably operate on an “I know it when I see it” basis, and school lawyers will probably be able to talk their clients into not doing anything too stupid. If the clients consult their lawyers first, which is by no means a sure thing.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to CJColucci says:

        Yeah, I noticed that the court didn’t try to create a legal standard, and just ruled very narrowly. And I agree with you that hopefully this will just encourage school districts to check themselves before… well, we all know how that saying goes.Report

      • “The student said ^%&* 7 times, and ^%&*ing 4 time, which is within the Mahanoy guidelines. However, she specifically told the principal and dean of students to “^%&*ing ^%&* themselves”, which is a potential violation.”Report