“F— school f— softball f— cheer f— everything,” the 14-year-old, frustrated at the prospect of another year on the junior varsity team, wrote on her cellphone, posting a photo of herself and a friend extending middle fingers.
The school then suspended Ms. Levy from the junior varsity team for the school year, saying she had violated various rules including prohibitions of foul language, unsportsmanlike conduct and disrespect of the school.
After the school refused to reconsider the punishment, Ms. Levy and her parents went to court.
Federal district and appeals courts agreed that the school violated her free-speech rights, but differed in their reasoning.
The federal district judge said Ms. Levy’s exclamation simply couldn’t be considered disruptive of school, the standard the Supreme Court set for punishing student speech in a landmark case from 1969, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District.
WASHINGTON —, Brandi Levy, Levy, couldn’t
Tinker, Des Moines Independent School District
Pennsylvania, Mahanoy City, Pa, Federal