More than 50 year ago in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, the Supreme Court, reacting to Iowa teens being wrongfully suspended by a public high school for wearing antiwar armbands, ruled that disciplining kids for speech is unconstitutional unless their speech “substantially” disrupts school functions. In the intervening years, school-speech cases often held for school administrators, interpreting the word “disruption” broadly.

However, just recently in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. the high court ruled 8-1 that school officials need to stay clear of disciplining off-campus speech, except under narrow circumstances and issued relatively clear guidelines for doing so.