The Court just ruled students have greater First Amendment rights out of school.
ACLU Supporter –
The Supreme Court just ruled that, outside of school, school authorities must respect young people's rights to express themselves in our case B.L. v. Mahanoy Area School District.
This is a victory for the free speech rights of millions of students who attend our nation's public schools, and all of the people who can benefit and learn from their speech.
In this critical case, our client posted a simple, but expressive Snapchat outside of school on the weekend: "Fuck school. Fuck cheer. Fuck softball. Fuck everything." Her school, as a result, kicked her off her cheerleading team – disciplining her for her words outside of the school environment.
But in its 8-1 ruling today, SCOTUS held that the school violated her First Amendment rights. The Court recognized that, while schools do have an interest in regulating some off-campus speech, like severe bullying or threats, they also have an interest in protecting a student's expression as nurseries of democracy. That includes dissenting or unpopular views. This decision affirms students' free speech rights outside of school, whether they're marching at a weekend protest or posting on social media.
ACLU Supporter, this ruling to protect students and young people's free speech rights is vital. But we also know defending the right to speak freely has been, and will always be, an ever-present and ongoing fight.
If you'd like to show your support for our fight for free speech rights – including our young client's right to express herself – you can do so in style with our new "Fuck Everything" Tee, available for pre-order today.
Every dollar of your purchase will go to the ACLU's critical work to defend people's rights – and will be a valuable help in all that's ahead.
Together, we can and will protect the fundamental rights of us all.