Mahanoy Area Student Wins First Amendment Fight

MAHANOY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A high school student has won a federal court First Amendment fight with a school district in Schuylkill County.

The student attends Mahanoy Area High School and the issue centered on a vulgar message the student uploaded to the social media app Snapchat two years ago.

The message blasted the high school and its cheerleading program.

As a result, the district kicked the female student off the junior varsity cheerleading squad.

The American Civil Liberties Union helped the student sue the district, and late last week, a federal court judge ruled the district violated the student’s First Amendment rights since the “snap” was shot and posted on a weekend and not on school grounds.

The Mahanoy Area School District posted a reply to the decision on Facebook on Monday.

The district makes the case that if the student had done what she did in a professional setting, “she would be rightfully disciplined if not fired.”

District officials say they are “disappointed” but aren’t sure if they will appeal.

You can read the full ruling here.

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