Student Rights

Law & Courts Video The Supreme Court's Vulgar Snapchat Ruling and What It Means for Students' Free Speech
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former high school cheerleader after she was suspended from the team over a vulgar Snapchat post. Here's what the high court said.
Eric Harkleroad, July 1, 2021
4:00
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on April 23, 2021.
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo in Washington in April.
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP
Law & Courts Educators Look for Guideposts in Supreme Court Ruling on Student Free Speech
Measured responses greet a ruling that a district violated a student’s rights when it disciplined her for a vulgar Snapchat video.
Denisa R. Superville, June 23, 2021
6 min read
Image shows a picture of Brandi Levy in her cheerleading uniform in front of Mahanoy Area High School.
Brandi Levy, now an 18-year-old college freshman, was a cheerleader at Mahanoy Area High School in Pennsylvania when she made profane comments on Snapchat that were at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case on student speech rights.
Danna Singer/Provided by the American Civil Liberties Union
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court Rules for Cheerleader Who Posted Vulgar Snapchat Message
The decision was 8-1 for a student who'd been disciplined by her school, but the court suggests some off-campus speech may be regulated.
Mark Walsh, June 23, 2021
12 min read
Image of cellphones.
RyanJLane/iStock/Getty
Law & Courts Court Restores Officers' Immunity Over Seizure of High School Athletes in Peeping Probe
A federal appeals court ruled in the case of two campus officers involved in detaining football camp participants for hours of questioning.
Mark Walsh, May 11, 2021
4 min read
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on April 23, 2021.
Members of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the court on April 23. The justices heard arguments Wednesday in a major case on student speech.
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court Wary About Extending School Authority Over Student Internet Speech
In arguments, the justices looked for a narrow way to decide a case about the discipline of a cheerleader over a profane Snapchat message.
Mark Walsh, April 28, 2021
7 min read
Image shows a picture of Brandi Levy in her cheerleading uniform in front of Mahanoy Area High School.
Brandi Levy, 18, through her parents, sued her school district under the First Amendment’s free speech clause over her discipline for an off-campus Snapchat message.
Danna Singer/Provided by the American Civil Liberties Union
Law & Courts 7 Things to Know About the Cheerleader Speech Case Coming Up in the U.S. Supreme Court
The justices hear arguments on Wednesday in the case about whether school officials may discipline students for off-campus speech.
Mark Walsh, April 24, 2021
4 min read
Image of Brandi Levy.
Brandi Levy, now an 18-year-old college freshman, was a cheerleader at Mahanoy Area High School in Pennsylvania when she made profane comments on Snapchat that are now at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case on student speech rights.
Danna Singer/Provided by the American Civil Liberties Union
Law & Courts How a Cheerleader's Snapchat Profanity Could Shape the Limits of Students' Free Speech
Brandi Levy's social media post is the basis for a case before the U.S. Supreme Court on whether schools may punish off-campus speech.
Mark Walsh, April 12, 2021
9 min read
Image of the Supreme Court.
iStock/Getty
Law & Courts Student School Board Members Flex Their Civic Muscle in Supreme Court Free-Speech Case
Current and former student school board members add their growing voices to a potentially precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court case.
Stephen Sawchuk, April 7, 2021
7 min read
In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, Mary Beth Tinker, 61, shows an old photograph of her with her brother John Tinker to the Associated Press during an interview in Washington. Tinker was just 13 when she spoke out against the Vietnam War by wearing a black armband to her Iowa school in 1965. When the school suspended her, she took her free speech case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won. Her message: Students should take action on issues important to them. "It's better for our whole society when kids have a voice," she says.
In this 2013 photo, Mary Beth Tinker shows a 1968 Associated Press photograph of her with her brother John Tinker displaying the armbands they had worn in school to protest the Vietnam War. (The peace symbols were added after the school protest). The Tinkers have filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a Pennsylvania student who was disciplined for an offensive message on Snapchat.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
Law & Courts Diverse Array of Groups Back Student in Supreme Court Case on Off-Campus Speech
John and Mary Beth Tinker, central to the landmark speech case that bears their name, argue that even offensive speech merits protection.
Mark Walsh, April 1, 2021
5 min read
supreme court SOC
Getty
Law & Courts Major Case on Student Off-Campus Speech to Be Heard by U.S. Supreme Court April 28
The justices will consider a school's discipline of a cheerleader over a vulgar message on Snapchat, with a decision expected by summer.
Mark Walsh, March 12, 2021
1 min read
supreme court SOC
Getty
Law & Courts Biden Administration, Education Groups Back School District in Student Online Speech Case
A Pennsylvania district and its allies argue that administrators need to be able to discipline students for threatening or bullying speech.
Mark Walsh, March 4, 2021
5 min read
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh Whether Schools May Discipline Students for Internet Speech
The justices will hear the appeal of a school district whose discipline of a student for her vulgar message on Snapchat was overturned.
Mark Walsh, January 8, 2021
5 min read
Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., shown in Washington in February 1976.
Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., shown in Washington in February 1976.
Associated Press
Law & Courts Right-to-Education Ruling Jolts Education-Advocacy World
The decision by a federal appeals court recognizing the right to a basic minimum education may be felt far beyond the substandard Detroit schools underlying it, but hurdles could remain.
Mark Walsh, April 29, 2020
10 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
From top, clockwise: Rachel Woolf, Gretchen Ertl, Rachel Woolf for Education Week
Social Studies Schools Teach Civics. Do They Model It?
Colorado students who led a peaceful protest at their school learned a hard lesson about civics—and it didn’t come from textbooks.
Stephen Sawchuk, May 7, 2019
18 min read