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Supreme Court Rules Cheerleader's F-Bombs Are Protected By The 1st Amendment

The U.S. Supreme Court
The Supreme Court
the National School Boards Association
the Supreme Court

Nina Totenberg
Mark Tenally
Brandi Levy
Stephen Breyer
Brandi Levy's
David Cole
Michael Levin
Joie Green
Justin Driver
Samuel Alito
Clarence Thomas

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The Schoolhouse Gate


the Vietnam War

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The New York Times
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"To the contrary," said Breyer, the speech that Levy uttered "is the kind of pure speech to which, were she an adult, the First Amendment would provide strong protection." Breyer's decision harkened back to a 1969 decision and a case that involved students suspended for wearing black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War, the court ruled that students do have free speech rights under the Constitution, as long as the speech is not disruptive to the school.On Wednesday the high court reinforced that decision, concluding that while Brandi Levy's post was less than admirable, it did not meet the test of being disruptive. "This well could end up being one of Justice Breyer's more significant opinions, whether he ends up steeping down this year or in future years," said Garre.In a concurring opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote: "If today's decision teaches any lesson, it must be that the regulation of many types of off-premises student speech raises serious First Amendment concerns, and school officials should proceed cautiously before venturing into this territory."In a statement, the National School Boards Association, said: Although "the school district lost on the facts of this particular case, it represents a win for schools, as well as students, who can still be protected from off-campus student speech that bullies, harasses, threatens, disrupts, or meets other circumstances outlined by the Court."In a dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the school was right to suspend Levy because students like her "who are active in extracurricular programs have a greater potential, by virtue of their participation, to harm those programs."Thomas has long taken the position that students generally do not have free speech rights.NPR thanks our sponsorsBecome an NPR sponsor

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