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The Supreme Court Considers a Cheerleader's Off Campus Free Speech Rights

Snapchat stories on a smart phone.
The high court heard arguments this week in one of the most important student free speech cases to reach its bench.
Snapchat stories on a smart phone.
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April 30, 2021

This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that has huge implications for the free speech rights of students. The case involves then 14-year-old Brandi Levy, a cheerleader at Mahanoy Area High School in Pennsylvania, and her post on the social media platform Snapchat. One of her cheerleading coaches saw the post, which used an expletive, and suspended her from the team for a year — even though Brandi had posted on a weekend, while off of school property.

Brandi and her family sued the school for violating her First Amendment rights. Brandi prevailed in two lower federal court rulings but now, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to uphold the win or rule for the school. On Wednesday, ACLU Legal Director David Cole argued before the court on Brandi’s behalf.

“[The case] really has the potential to be a landmark case for student speech rights,” Vera Eidelman, staff attorney at the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology project told us on At Liberty. Eidelman is working on Brandi’s case with the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

In addition to Eidelman, Brandi and her father, Larry joined us on this week’s episode to share their story.

Supreme Court Considers a Cheerleader's Free Speech

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