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The Case of the Cursing Cheerleader

 
 
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2021 08:54 am
The Supreme Court is about to start a case on student free speech. The short of it is a high school freshman after a tough week in which she failed to make varsity cheerleading and the softball team posted a picture on Snapchat with her and a friend showing the bird and dropped a number of f-bombs, "F- school f- softball f- cheer f- everything." She did this off school property. The cheer coach got word and suspended her from the team for the year. (She made varsity the next year.) Her parents sued saying the school does not have the right to police off campus, student speech. The appeals court agreed. The guiding principle set by the court in the 60's is that students do not leave their free speech rights at the door to the school and the school can only restrict free speech if they can make a compelling argument that the speech "would materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school."
 
engineer
 
  0  
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2021 09:20 am
@engineer,
I think this is a really tricky case. The parents' Constitutional arguments are pretty compelling to me. It is one thing to say the school can control speech on campus to maintain the educational environment, another to say the school can control all speech. What if the student wants to speak out on religious or political issues? Doesn't allowing the school to police this interfere with the parents' authority to guide their children? Does anyone really believe that this particular very teenage rant off hours, off property was going to interfere with schooling or even with the softball or cheer teams? I certainly don't.

On the other hand, as someone who has spent the last 10+ years going to high school parent briefings for athletes and hearing about social media concerns, I get some restrictions. Trash talking other schools, players on other teams or even your teammates on social media is unsportmanlike conduct and something that is detrimental to the high school sports. The student in question was not suspended from school, she was suspended from the cheer squad and as the school has always told me, "participation in sports is a privilege". The coach made the call and coaches have a lot of discretion around students who present behavioral issues on the team. While I think the coach's response was overboard, telling someone who says "F cheer" to take a hike from the cheer team doesn't seem outrageous.

I want the court to say "students have rights" and at the same time say "saying f-cheer is a legitimate reason to get yourself kicked from the cheer team". Not sure how they can thread that needle.
Mame
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2021 06:34 pm
@engineer,
Yeah, but who'd want that person infecting the rest of the team? Lawyers can fight it out, s0beit. But I would toss that girl like floss. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Toss!
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2021 07:52 pm
Once again, you demonstrate your lack of comprehension of freedom of speech. A student should be free to express any opinion at all off campus, even if you don't like it. Your opinion of the sentiment expressed is not a criterion. It should only become the business of the school if it affects school activities, and being a wrong-thinker doesn't affect school activities.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2021 08:43 pm
@Brandon9000,
She may have freedom of speech but any organization also has the freedom to decide if they want to suspend or fire someone. If for instance I was upset at my employer and as a result bad mouthed them in social media in my free time they could decide they would no longer desire my services as a result. So yes I am free to speak but they are also free to fire me.

As much as I like Mame and respect her opinion I do think they were a bit over the top in their punishment for swearing. I could see suspending her for a number of competitions but for the whole season is extreme. Having kids going through high school varsity sports typically students are suspended for a number of games for infractions that are more serious than swearing .. It is rare to be kept from an entire season. These are situations in which police are involved and the kids are still allowed to participate in the season after their suspension is completed.
snood
 
  0  
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2021 09:24 pm
In this time of virtual learning and ubiquitous social media, I’m just trying to figure out how they manage to draw a hard line separating “on” from “off” campus.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2021 09:43 pm
Things stopped making legal sense for me when the "Bong Hits for Jesus" case was decided by the Supreme Court. But speaking purely from an educational perspective...

We live in a country where people get fired for saying "All lives matter" (even when they express support for Black Lives Matter too). These kids are going to have to learn that offending people's political sensibilities has consequences.

The school is doing their students a service by teaching them that they should always be affraid to express themselves in any away outside of the acceptable norms of proper behavior.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  0  
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2021 10:28 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat, I appreciate that, it actually wasn't the swearing -I had an issue with - it was a public disrespect of the institution and what she signed up for. Imagine, if one of your subordinates or employees or charter members or whatever had done that. Swearing isn't the issue. It's the disrespect. How would you deal with your children if you saidi they couldn't drive your car and that was their reaction on social media?
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 28 Apr, 2021 10:36 pm
@Mame,
Kids don't have Constitional rights when it comes to their parents.

A kid can't say whatever she wants. She can't have a gun. She doesn't have the right to a fair trial or a lawyer to represent her with her parents. She can't prevent her parents from searching her room or to refuse to answer questions that might incriminate her.

My kid once tried to invoke the 5th amendment. I was impressed that she was learning civics. She was grounded anyway.

Parents are dictators within the family. Schools aren't the same at all.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2021 04:05 am
She had free speech, nobody stopped her saying anything.

She can go back on social media and repeat the same crap over and over again.

Free speech has consequences and if the college team don’t want her they’re well within their rights to tell her to eff off.

That’s their free speech.
longjon
 
  0  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2021 04:18 am
@izzythepush,
Quote:
Free speech has consequences


Spoken like a fascist
izzythepush
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2021 04:24 am
Free speech doesn’t mean one has to be heard.

I don’t talk to, or read the posts of, monkeys.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  0  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2021 05:49 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

She may have freedom of speech but any organization also has the freedom to decide if they want to suspend or fire someone.

But a public school is the government and if they issue a punishment for speech, that is a government action against free speech. This is an interesting case because locally we have high school policies for athletes that prohibit things like trash talking about opposing teams. That sounds like a good policy to me, but if a student trashes their rival high school on social media on their own time, can they really be removed from the team? This case will decide that. The student here really committed the mildest sin, a mildly profane rant that I could see any high school student engaging in.
izzythepush
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2021 05:53 am
@engineer,
So everyone at that school can go on the cheerleading squad, there’s no test or anything.
engineer
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2021 06:02 am
@izzythepush,
No, she had already made the JV squad, just not the varsity. If she hadn't made the squad, I don't think there would be a question. In this case, there is a clear line between SPOKE OUT -> SCHOOL RETRIBUTION. This case is a few years old. The year after this event, the girl made varsity cheer, so there was no lasting negative impact.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2021 06:36 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

She had free speech, nobody stopped her saying anything.

She can go back on social media and repeat the same crap over and over again.

Free speech has consequences and if the college team don’t want her they’re well within their rights to tell her to eff off.

That’s their free speech.


Under this definition of free speech, there is Free Speech in North Korea.

They said something about the Dear Leader. They went to the labor camp. Now their grandchildren can go back and say the same crap over again.

If Speech is punished. It is not free speech. Imagine if this story were about a girl who wanted to have bare shoulders as part of a dress code. Would the fact that she was punished mean that she wasn't free?

The left is being ridiculous.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2021 06:44 am
If you read the Supreme Court decision for Morse v. Federick (this is the Bong hits for Jesus case), it makes a clear distinction between school and society. It ruled that the school could punish the student for displaying a cryptic "Bong hits 4 Jesus" banner during the olympic torch relay processing.

The Supreme Court ruled that in a "school event", if the school feels a "compelling need" than it can restrict speech. The court admitted freely that it was restricting speech in this case.

I felt that the Supreme Court was wrong in this case. It seems odd to me. But then again, I am not on the Supreme Court (yet).
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2021 07:11 am
@engineer,
It’s the coach’s decision, they decide who makes the cut and what is expected of those who do.

Maybe they were being petty, but isn’t that their prerogative?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2021 07:19 am
For Izzy (or anyone else on the left)

If a coach kicked these girls off of the team for saying "trans women are women".... would you still feel this is the "coaches perogative?


If you are really giving coaches the power to punish students for what they say, then it is easy to imagine coaches punishing their students for disagreeing with religion or expressing a political opinion the coach doesn't like.

In the US school employees at public schools are considered as government actors. That is why the first amendment applies (somewhat).

The suggestion that coaches can punish students for what they say based only on their "perogative" seems a little extreme.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 29 Apr, 2021 07:25 am
When I came off suspension I put Max on ignore.

I don’t read him and I’ve not missed anything.
 

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