July 2021 Bar Bulletin
By Christopher L. Young
On June 23, 2021, Justice Breyer delivered the Supreme Court’s much anticipated opinion in Mahoney Area Sch. Dist. v. B.L. At issue: whether a public high school violated a student’s First Amendment right to free speech by suspending her from the junior varsity cheer squad for posts she made to Snapchat while off campus. Relying on its 1969 decision in Tinker v. Des Moines Ind. Comm. Sch. Dist.,1 the Supreme Court ruled that the suspension violated B.L.’s rights because, inter alia, her social media posts did not cause substantial disruption at school.
In Tinker, 16-year-old Christopher Eckhardt and friend, Mary Beth Tinker, wore...