Student Free Speech Case Involving Cheerleader goes before the Supreme Court

In the case of Brandi Levy, a high-school freshman in eastern Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court is considering whether public schools should discipline students for speech outside of the school-supervised setting.

After being passed over for a spot on the varsity cheerleading team, Levy went onto Snapchat to express her frustration. 

The teen and another friend posed with a middle finger with the caption, “F——— school f——— softball f——— cheer f——— everything”.  She also added, “Love how me and [student] get told we need a year of JV before we make varsity but that doesn’t matter to anyone else”. 

Levy was referring to how an incoming freshman could make varsity and how this wasn’t fair to her.

Students online found the posts upsetting and inappropriate, and they were soon brought to the attention of the team’s coaches. As a result, Levy was suspended from the cheerleading team for a year. 

The coaches explained that they require students to “have respect” and refrain from sharing “negative information regarding cheerleading, cheerleaders, or coaches on the internet.”

Levy’s parents responded with a federal lawsuit claiming that the suspension was violating their daughter’s freedom of speech. 

This case raised the question of whether schools should continue to allow this form of discipline to students outside of school. The Supreme Court is hearing arguments of this case and the decision is to be made by late June. 

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