Social Media Free Speech by Christopher

September 28, 2021


Social Media Free Speech

In the article, “YOU DECIDE School Social Media Free Speech Case” (BTW) we see that there was controversy on whether or not a school system should punish a student for their actions outside of school. The student, Brandi Levy a cheerleader with hopes of making the varsity cheerleading team, did not make the team. Levy was furious, she took her anger onto social media and she published a post that included vulgar language and obscene gestures (middle finger). Levy’s school stepped in and punished her for her actions, suspending her from all cheerleading activities (1 year). Many people wondered if the school had the right to punish the student. The parents filed a lawsuit against the school and ultimately won. The school believed they should intervene in certain situations, and this was one of them. The school may have felt that there was a threat toward the school’s varsity cheer squad or the varsity cheer squad may have taken offense, which could be classified as bullying (cyberbullying). The supreme court disagreed with the school, the ruling was 8-1 in favor of the levy. The supreme court believed that the school violated the First Amendment Free speech right of the student. Schools have the right to intervene when bullying or harassment, threats (toward teachers and students),  academic misconduct, online schooling, & hacking are present. 

Should private social media posts be regulated by school administrators?

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I believe that Levy should have not been punished. To me, it seems that she was expressing her anger, which she has the right to do, but she could have handled the situation differently. She could have talked to the coaches and asked “coach, how can I become a better cheerleader, in what areas do I need to improve in that would put me in a better position to help the team?”. Taking this route would have solved the problem instead of making the problem worse. When we are full of anger, we tend to do certain things that we may regret, which is why we must think through every decision we make.