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Supreme Court Considers Student’s Speech Rights Outside of School

时间:2021-05-03 15:43:09

(单词翻译:单击)

The U.S. Supreme1 Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a closely watched case involving a teenager's freedom of speech on social media.

In 2017, when Brandi Levy2 was 14, she wanted to be a cheerleader at her school in Pennsylvania. She competed for a place on the team. But, she was not chosen for the best team. Instead, she was told she would be on the second-best team.

She was upset, and while she was at a store close to her school, she took a picture of herself making a sign with her finger that is offensive3 in the United States. She then posted the photo on the social media service Snapchat, and also added text with a bad word.

Levy was mad that she was not chosen for the top team and expressed her anger with the post. While the post could only be seen for one day, adults who ran the school saw it. So did a number of students.

The school punished Levy by banning her from the team for one year. It said Levy's Snapchat message upset other students and disrupted5 classes. The adults who ran the cheerleading team said Levy broke team rules and hurt the cohesion6 of the team.

Levy and her parents wanted her to be put back on the cheerleading team. They took their case against the school to court. They got legal support from The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a civil rights group. A lower court judge ordered the school to let her back onto the team.

The school appealed that decision to The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. But the U.S. appeals court said the school could not punish Levy because she was off campus.

The school, however, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The school said it was permitted to punish Levy because of an almost 50-year-old decision. In 1969, the Supreme Court said students could be punished for disruptive speech.

After the case is presented in Washington, D.C., the court should make its ruling by June.

Levy is now 18 and in college. Thinking back on how she felt four years ago, she said the punishment felt wrong. She said she thought her action was "small," and she was only expressing her feelings. She said recently that she did not bully7 or harass8 anyone in her message.

The court ruling will set an important example for speech.

Schools say if the court rules for Levy, it will make their job more difficult. School leaders say it is already hard to keep students from making disruptive statements on social media. These incidents, they argue, most often happen outside of school hours and while students are at home, but they affect the student body.

In a paper the school submitted for the case, it asked where school property ends in the world of internet messaging. If a student sends harassing9 emails to school accounts from home "where did the speech happen?"

A representative from a national group of school leaders warned against giving students the freedom to send disruptive messages even if they are away from school.

President Joe Biden's administration has expressed support for the school's side of the case.

The ACLU and other organizations, however, say that if the school wins the case, it will make it harder for students to express themselves. The ACLU said that if Levy loses the case, it will make it easier for schools to follow and watch their students all the time.

Sara Rose is a lawyer with the ACLU and is working on the case. She said schools can do things to protect students that do not involve "punishing kids for speech that they engage in off campus."

Words in This Story

disrupt4 –v. to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way : to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something)

cohesion –n. a condition in which people or things are closely united

campus –n. the area and buildings around a university, college, school, etc.

bully –v. to frighten, hurt, or threaten (a smaller or weaker person) : to act like a bully toward (someone)

harass –v. to annoy or bother (someone) in a constant or repeated way

engage in –v. to do something


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1 supreme PHqzc     
adj.极度的,最重要的;至高的,最高的
参考例句:
  • It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
2 levy Z9fzR     
n.征收税或其他款项,征收额
参考例句:
  • They levy a tax on him.他们向他征税。
  • A direct food levy was imposed by the local government.地方政府征收了食品税。
3 offensive OI9xc     
adj.令人不快的,侮辱的,攻击用的;n.进攻
参考例句:
  • His mode of doing business is offensive to me.他干事情的方式叫我很不喜欢。
  • If all else fails,I will take the offensive.如果其他方法不行,我将采取攻势。
4 disrupt rl7zR     
adj.分裂的,分散的;vt.使分裂,使瓦解
参考例句:
  • The war seemed likely to disrupt the state.战争可能使这个国家分裂。
  • The conflict seemed likely to disrupt the government.这场冲突可能使政府垮台。
5 disrupted 216a1e94ac824979b1ce1545d406f4d7     
使混乱,扰乱( disrupt的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • An accident has disrupted railway services into and out of the city. 一场事故使得进出该城市的铁路交通陷入混乱。
  • A crowd of protesters disrupted the meeting. 一群抗议者扰乱了会议。
6 cohesion dbzyA     
n.团结,凝结力
参考例句:
  • I had to bring some cohesion into the company.我得使整个公司恢复凝聚力。
  • The power of culture is deeply rooted in the vitality,creativity and cohesion of a nation. 文化的力量,深深熔铸在民族的生命力、创造力和凝聚力之中。
7 bully bully     
n.恃强欺弱者,小流氓;vt.威胁,欺侮
参考例句:
  • A bully is always a coward.暴汉常是懦夫。
  • The boy gave the bully a pelt on the back with a pebble.那男孩用石子掷击小流氓的背脊。
8 harass ceNzZ     
vt.使烦恼,折磨,骚扰
参考例句:
  • Our mission is to harass the landing of the main Japaness expeditionary force.我们的任务是骚乱日本远征军主力的登陆。
  • They received the order to harass the enemy's rear.他们接到骚扰敌人后方的命令。
9 harassing 76b352fbc5bcc1190a82edcc9339a9f2     
v.侵扰,骚扰( harass的现在分词 );不断攻击(敌人)
参考例句:
  • The court ordered him to stop harassing his ex-wife. 法庭命令他不得再骚扰前妻。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • It was too close to be merely harassing fire. 打得这么近,不能完全是扰乱射击。 来自辞典例句

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