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Brandi Levy was wrapping up her freshman year in high school in May when she learned she did not make the varsity cheerleading team for the next school year and would again be ased to the junior varsity squad. Her emotional response has embroiled her and her school district in a legal dispute now before the U. Supreme Court that could reshape the status of student free-speech rights—online speech in particular—for the first time in more than a generation. She had been told cheerleaders needed a year of JV before making varsity at Mahanoy Area High School in Pennsylvania, yet an incoming freshman girl was chosen for the top squad.
And school finals were also wearing on her. Mah a noy Area School District v. The high court is being asked to decide whether its landmark decision in Tinker v.
Tinkerwhich sided with students who had worn simple black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, stands for the idea that student speech is protected under the First Amendment as long as school is not substantially disrupted. The question about whether Tinker applies to off-campus speech has become especially critical in the age of social media, and even more so when the line between campus and off-campus activity is blurred by the prevalence of remote learning during the pandemic.
Walczak, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, who represents Levy and has been involved in cases involving student internet speech going back more than a decade. Levy, now an year-old brandy snapchat name freshman, acknowledges that her Snapchat message was of a starkly different nature than the black armbands of the Tinker case, and she did not expect her case to end up in the Supreme Court. Part of the appeal of Snapchat is that its messages are ephemeral, with those sent to one person disappearing after 10 seconds and others lasting only 24 hours.
Gnall shared it with Nicole Luchetta-Rump, the other coach and a mathematics teacher at the high school. A panel of the U. She plainly targeted her speech at campus.
The same would be true of federal laws that require schools to address student-on-student harassment, regardless of whether it occurred on campus. These concerns are only magnified by the growth of student speech on the Internet, the district says.
Remote learning during the pandemic has raised questions such as when school is in session and what happens when students trade messages on social media at the same time they are ed on to school Zoom or other remote platforms. And the district argues that participants in extracurricular activities should essentially be held to a higher standard. The ACLU argues on behalf of Levy that concerns about schools being unable to respond to off-campus threats of violence or online bullying are overblown.
The 3rd Circuit brandy snapchat name already made clear that its bright-line rule about Tinker not applying to off-campus speech did not necessarily cover threats or harassing speech, the organization says. Levy has the support of John and Mary Beth Tinker, the siblings at the center of the case that bears their name, as well as religious liberty groups, teachers, and hundreds of students who serve on public school boards.
Levy graduated from Mahanoy High last year amid the pandemic, and she now works part-time and attends Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where she is studying ing. With her court order restoring her to cheerleading, Levy remained on the team throughout high school.
She mostly avoided talking to those teammates who were upset over her Snapchat post, she said. All Topics. About Us. Group Subscriptions. Recruitment Advertising. Events and Webinars. Leaders to Learn From.
Current Issue. Special Reports. EdWeek Research Center. EdWeek Top School Jobs. EdWeek Market Brief. Menu Search. In Subscribe. Reset Search. By Mark Walsh — April 12, 9 min read. Brandi Levy, now an year-old college freshman, was a cheerleader at Mahanoy Area High School in Pennsylvania when she made profane comments on Snapchat that are now at the center of a U. Supreme Court case on student speech rights. Share article Remove Save to favorites Save to favorites. Mark Walsh. Follow Unfollow. Contributing WriterEducation Week. Mark Walsh covers education law and the U.
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US teen's Snapchat rant reaches Supreme Court in free speech case