A cheerleader who was suspended from the squad because she posted “f–k school, f–k cheer” on Snapchat will now have her case heard by the Supreme Court — which will weigh whether her free speech rights were violated.
Brandi Levy was just 14 and a freshman cheerleader in Mahonoy, Pennsylvania, when she sent the offending Snapchat to her friends after not getting accepted into the varsity squad, she told ABC News.
“I was frustrated. I was upset. I was angry. And I made a post on Snapchat,” she told the station.
“I said, F school, F cheer, F softball, F everything,” she said of the post, which she sent to her pals on a weekend in 2017.
The vulgar post soon came to the attention of school administrators, and she was suspended from cheerleading for an entire year, the station said.
Levy, now 18, and her lawyers have taken their free-speech fight against her school district through the federal justice system and on to the highest court in the country.
The case is scheduled for April 28 and will decide whether a school’s right to regulate “distruptive” on-campus student speech also extends off campus.
So far, Levy has won in two lower federal courts and in an appeals court decision that found while schools can set limits on speech and conduct on their property, they can’t enforce their rules off campus.
The Supreme Court decision will be precedent-setting, said Sara Rose, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing Levy in the case.
“This is the first time that the US Supreme Court is going to decide whether the rules that apply to kids when they’re in school also apply to their speech when they are outside of school,” she said.
School officials should have just given his daughter a warning, telling her, “Watch, be careful,” Levy’s father told ABC.
“But the action they took, I think reached above and beyond where they should be,” he said.
The Mahonoy Area School District did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It has argued in papers that schools should have the right to intervene in any student speech that disrupts the school environment.