The schools’ reaction to such dumbass behavior indicates to P+J that there is a belief among many school officials that a student’s constitutional rights are “shed at the schoolhouse gate.” And the courts aren’t providing much clarity on the matter. Two separate panels of judges on the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals came up with divergent opinions on the Pennsylvania cases — one supporting student free speech and one opposing.

Somehow it seems rather un-American for schools or school officials, when provoked by ill-mannered “ute,” to impose damaging punishments, like booting students out of the National Honor Society. This is not exactly like being “grounded” by mom and dad, which would seem to be the approximate punishment we’d endorse.

Send cupcakes and Pulitzer-grade tips top&j@phx.com.

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