Cheering for a student’s right to speak out | Medium


Fourteen-year-old Brandi Levy characterized her somewhat crude snap as venting. Perhaps so, but according to the Supreme Court, her snap was also constitutionally significant speech, worthy of the protection offered by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

In 2017, Levy was a freshman in high school who had earned a spot on the junior varsity (JV) cheerleading squad. Later that term, she tried out for varsity, but was not selected; she would have to spend another year on JV. Worse still, an underclassman, an incoming freshman, would be cheering for the varsity squad. Levy was angry, maybe a bit embarrassed, and like many teens, she turned to social media, specifically Snapchat, to express her outrage.

Levy fashioned the snap from her personal cell phone while hanging out with a friend on a Saturday afternoon at a local convenience store…Read More

Lynn Greenky is an Associate Teaching Professor at Syracuse University in the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies. She teaches a beloved undergraduate course about the First Amendment. She is the author of When Freedom Speaks: The Boundaries and Boundlessness of the First Amendment. You can follow her on Twitter @LGreenky.

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