On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case involving a former high school student who posted a photo of herself and a friend on Snapchat with their middle fingers raised. The caption read, “fuck school fuck softball fuck cheer fuck everything.” Have you fainted in outrage yet?
Brandi Levy was a freshman at a Pennsylvania high school when she tried out for the varsity cheerleading team. She didn’t make it, and ended up on the JV squad. She probably wasn’t happy about that and posted the Snapchat in question. The cheerleading coaches caught wind of it and suspended her from cheerleading for a year.
In response, Levy’s father filed a lawsuit with the help of the ACLU, alleging that the school had violated his daughter’s First Amendment rights. And now this case may decide some major questions about the rights of minors like:
- What free speech rights do students have outside of school?
- Can their free speech rights be abridged 24 hours a day, 365 days a year?
- What counts as private versus public speech in the era of social media?
On this episode of Boom! Lawyered, Jessica Mason Pieklo and Imani Gandy wade into all of this and more. Gooooo team!