Bad Facts make bad law


As some of you know, I have been following the B.L. by and through Levy v. Mahanoy Area School District case since last year, and reported a few months ago that it had been appealed to the United States Supreme Court (which agreed to hear the case in January). I am honored to announce that I was asked by the National Association of Pupil Services Administrators (NAPSA) (as well as its member organization, the Pennsylvania Association of Pupil Services Administrators), to file an amicus brief at the Supreme Court on behalf of its members. NAPSA is the only national organization that focuses its efforts on the development of administrators and programs designed to serve the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of all students.

We filed our Brief last Monday (March 1, 2021) with the Court. Special thanks to Stephanie Hamm for her help writing the Brief. NAPSA and PAPSA stressed three points to this Court:

  • Schools need to be able to discipline students for off-campus speech, particularly online speech, that impacts the school community, at least some of the time and under some circumstances;
  • In particular, schools need to be able to address off-campus or online student speech that targets other students; and
  • Schools need some authority to address student speech that, like here, targeted a school activity or organization, and was reasonably likely to cause disruption in that activity or organization.

To meet these goals, we asked the Court to provide school administrators with desperately needed standards to guide them on when and under what circumstances they may discipline students for off-campus and/or online speech.

You can access a copy of our brief, above. We will provide more information as we get closer to oral argument.