Or at least that’s what the Supreme Court ruled last week. The high court heard the case of a Pennsylvania High School cheerleader who used vulgar language to criticize her school on social media. The school, once they learned about the incident kicked her off the cheerleading squad, so she sued, saying that she wasn’t on school grounds, and the school had no right to go after her.
Apparently the High Court agreed. They voted in favor of her ability to trash the school away from the school by an 8-1 vote.
Frankly, I can’t believe that a school district would have the audacity to want to kick someone who was speaking critically about them off of the cheerleading squad. That sounds very authoritarian and rather czaristic if you ask me. We DO have a freedom of speech in this country. Now, we all get it that it doesn’t extend to harming our neighbors. We cannot yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater (or a sparsely attended on I would assume). Still, do we have the right to criticize an institution when we feel they are out of line? The answer is, and should be, yes!
I wouldn’t be at all proud of a daughter that used the rather vulgar language that this girl used, but I would defend her right to say what she said, even in the rather vulgar manner that she chose to use. It’s not the manner that’s on trial here, it’s the censorship and punishment that came because of the vulgar manner. Take the vulgarity out of it, and does the message become any better for the school? Probably not. There would be a few less “F*** you’s” in there, but that would be about it.
This should be a landmark case. How many times have we seen institutions want to limit our ability to speak our mind, which we are fully capable of doing, and not censoring our thoughts or our ability to communicate them? Take a look at the recent attempt by Big Tech to censor our thoughts if it didn’t meet with their narrative. That, by a very small step should be covered by this very same decision. The only thing that would differ is the fact that this girl chose to use social media as her platform for her angst, and did it away from school, as opposed to actually using social media and having Big Tech allow you to say what you want to.
And that brings up another question…if this was such a bad rant that this girl had and that the school board obviously objected to, then why in the world, in this censor happy age we live in with Big Tech, did they see fit to actually allow the post to go through? Are you telling me that saying the word “COVID” in a post on a place like YouTube, or Twitter may get you a stern warning from the censor du jour, or are you telling me that it’s not ok to do that, but it’s ok for a girl to use vulgarity in describing a situation that she was obviously upset about at school. Which is worse? Especially when we were told that using COVID wasn’t “following the science”. We all know science is never wrong, correct? I mean, how many centuries did many believe that the sun rotated around the earth or that the earth was flat (some people still believe that!)
No, the Supreme Court was right in this one. You cannot limit free speech just because it’s vulgar. As Walter Matthau said in “First Monday In October”, “Crap has the right to be crap”.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!