The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor of a former high school cheerleader who was punished by her public school for posting a profanity-laced caption on Snapchat when she was off school grounds.
It seems like a somewhat frivolous case (and I don’t like being forced to defend profanity), but it has major implications. As Justice Breyer wrote:
"It might be tempting to dismiss (the student'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 said that students "do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression even at the schoolhouse gate. But we have also made clear that courts must apply the First Amendment in light of the special characteristics of the school environment. The school itself has an interest in protecting a student's unpopular expression, especially when the expression takes place off campus. America's public schools are the nurseries of democracy.”
That’s an important ruling because lately, too many schools have just seemed like nurseries, with the most immature brats in charge. By protecting the right to frivolous speech off-campus, the SCOTUS is also protecting serious speech. Let this be a warning shot to leftist school officials who are trying to monitor social media to bully and silence students who express non-“approved” political opinions off-campus. It’s past time they learned that they have no more power to silence free speech off-campus than they do on-campus.
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