Added: Eliu Dominy - Date: 11.07.2021 08:39 - Views: 19440 - Clicks: 9422
When Brandi Levy, a teenager from Pennsylvania state in the US, was suspended from her high school cheerleading squad in for sending a profanity-laced Snapchat post to her friends, few expected that the matter would reach the US Supreme Court. But that is exactly what is happening this week, as the apex American court is getting ready to hear arguments in what is being described as the most important case on the right of public school students to freedom of expression in decades. In MayLevy, who was 14 at the time, made a Snapchat post on a weekend at a convenience store away from her school in rural Pennsylvania, ranting about her being left out from its cheerleading team.
School coaches at Mahanoy Area High School said Levy had broken rules and undermined team cohesion, and barred her from the squad for a year. In that case, a school in Iowa state had suspended pupils who were wearing armbands protesting the Vietnam War. Practically, this means that although school authorities have the authority to discipline speech or expression on campus that is deemed inappropriate, the same would be protected by the First Amendment if done away from the school.
Despite the courts applying the Tinker precedent for more than 50 years, it still remains unclear what makes up a school setting and what does not, a Vox report said.
Levy argued that since she had made the Snapchat post off campus and on a non-school day, the school had no authority to punish her for it. I was upset, I was angry. The school district then asked the Supreme Court to look into the case.
Legal scholars say that it is difficult for the Supreme Court to decide a clear line between behaviour on-campus and off-campus in the information age, in which conditions are vastly different from the era when the Tinker case was decided. On one hand, the court has to ensure that its judgment addresses cyberbullying, in which content is mostly created off-campus on electronic devices such as laptops and iP. The school board says that a ruling in favour of Levy will make it difficult for authorities around the country to discipline bullying, harassment and racism taking place on social media after school hours.
At the same time, the court would also have to make sure that its ruling does not end up creating an environment in which schools have the authority to monitor everything that students say or do when at home. The court is expected to make its decision in the case by the end of June, a Reuters report said.
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