First Amendment Ruling – Students and Cancel Culture

The invention of the Internet was probably one of the top freedom killers forced on citizens under the disguise of fun, information, and access.

It allows instantaneous destruction of individuals by pinpointing where they are, what they believe, and what they are doing at any given moment. So far, most of that information gathering is self-inflected as we make it common to tell everyone what we are doing and where we are doing it.

Eventually, it will be assumed that everyone wants to be seen. If you give permission to social media sites to announce everything about yourself then it’s assumed you’re okay with them gaining more and more info to use in whatever way they wish; including selling it to the highest bidder.

The Supreme Court has ruled that students still have First Amendment Rights. The fact they may have lost those rights is ridiculous but the ruling chips away at Cancel Culture.

The 14-year-old cheerleader in question was upset at a decision placing her on the JV squad and proceeded to announce her displeasure on Snapchat.

The case, Mahanoy area School District v. B.L., dealt with a 14-year-old cheerleader, who, after failing to win a spot on her public high school’s varsity cheer squad (she was given a spot on the JV), reacted by posting an image of a raised middle finger to the 250 “friends” on her Snapchat account with the caption, “F*** school F*** softball F*** cheer F*** everything.” The message was sent after school hours and from an off-campus location. When other cheerleaders complained to the coaches, the school suspended the unhappy teenager from the JV cheerleading team for a year. B.L. and her parents filed a lawsuit alleging a violation of her First Amendment rights.

Go back 20 years or so and it’s very similar to passing notes in school other than the fact this girl made her post after school. How many notes did you see or how many times did you hear fellow students complaining about school policies?

The main difference today is that once a thing is posted on the Internet, it can be a forever thing. Even if you delete it, if someone else took a screen shot, it still exists. A person can post something and instantaneously everyone who has access will see that item immediately. This means the chance of the wrong person seeing it is very high.

Tattletales have always existed but in today’s world, they are rewarded and elevated above others and applauded the more they snitch. Hence, there are some rather nasty people searching for offensive things they can highlight and point out as horrendous regardless of their own activities.

Eventually the tattletales will get a dose of their own medicine. It’s inevitable because there is always a bigger and uglier fish to eat slightly smaller ones.

Schools are being given notice. They cannot simply shut the students up by suspending them, or some other method, because they don’t like what the student said or believes.

And Justice Samuel Alito’s concurrence, joined by Justice Neil Gorsuch, quotes several pages of precedents to support the idea that schools may not suppress speech “simply because it expresses ideas that are ‘offensive or disagreeable’” or “because it expresses thoughts or sentiments that others find upsetting.”

Where does this ruling possibly take us? As the article indicates below, it gives students the knowledge that they can challenge the teachings they receive rather than looking around the room to see where everyone stands and then nodding in agreement.

Public school students who have the courage and temerity to make statements challenging current orthodoxies such as critical race theory and climate change should be reassured by the knowledge that vague assertions of harm and disruption will not suffice to silence them. The First Amendment and the Supreme Court will likely protect them from official retribution.

Here’s the thing to dwell on; just how much power are we giving these bureaucrats, government officials, and asinine blue-checks? I ask this because in the end, it is we who are giving them the power they are successfully holding over the heads of the younger generation.

In turn, it is the younger generation who is buying into the notion it’s okay to chastise others they deem inappropriate because that is what they are being taught by their teachers. With this overwhelming power they find themselves wielding over their elders, they are striking out and taping closed the mouth of their teachers and creating their own all-powerful method of delivery.

It’s a vicious merry go round we’re riding and some of us have successfully jumped off and cleared the barbed wire.

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