Mahoney Area School District v. B.L.
B.L., a fourteen-year-old girl, was suspended from her school’s cheerleading team for posting an explicit message expressing her frustration with the team on a personal social media account. Her speech was non-threatening, non-harassing, and took place on a weekend and off-campus.
Juvenile Law Center and Advancement Project National Office, along with law firm Arnold & Porter and joined by 38 other advocacy organizations, filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in support of B.L. Our brief argued that expanding the authority of schools to regulate off-campus student speech will exacerbate existing disparities for students of color and other marginalized groups, who are already disproportionately and excessively targeted by school discipline, particularly for so-called “infractions” that permit discretion and invite subjective interpretation. We further argued that expanding school authority risks punishing students for developmentally appropriate expression and chilling core protected speech.
Kate Burdick, Marsha Levick
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