The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday wrestled with how to protect off-campus student speech in the internet age with the competing authority of school officials to regulate conduct that disrupts the educational process.

By the end of nearly two hours of argument in the case Mahanoy School District v. B.L., the justices appeared to be searching for a narrow way to decide whether a 1969 decision permitting schools to regulate speech that would disrupt the work and discipline of the school applies to off-campus speech.