School, Students, and Speech: A Constitution Day Special with Civics 101’s Nick Capodice Viewing Guide
Part I: Viewing Guide
As you view the video, answer the following questions.
- 1) In as few words as possible, what happened that led to the case Mahanoy v. B.L.? What constitutional amendment was applicable to this case?
- What was the central question in Mahanoy v. B.L. (2021)?
- How did the court decide in Mahanoy v. B.L. (2021)?
- What three elements do the speakers say are used to determine speech rights?
- In as few words as possible, what happened that led to the case Tinker v. Des Moines? What constitutional amendment was applicable to this case?
- What was the central question in Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)?
- How did the court decide in Tinker v. Des Moines?
- In Tinker v. Des Moines, the court famously interpreted the meaning of the First Amendment to protect student speech by saying students do not “shed their rights to Constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate?” What was the one key exception to this interpretation?
Part II: Questions for Discussion
After you view the video, discuss the following.
- What do you think the Constitution has to do with student expression?
- Do you think B.L’s response to not making the varsity cheerleading team was appropriate? Why or why not?
- How would you have ruled in the Mahanoy case? Explain your reasoning.
- Should student speech always be protected, or should there be limits on it? Explain your reasoning.
- Moving forward, how should the Supreme Court interpret what it means to be “at school’? Consider the hybrid and online models of learning recently used during the COVID pandemic.
- What questions do you still have about the Mahanoy case?
- What do you want to know more about?