Tinker in the Digital Age: Regulating Students’ Off-Campus Speech While Complying with the First Amendment

ABSTRACT

This comment was written in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision in B.L. v. Mahanoy Area School District. In a previous landmark case, the Court held that a school could regulate students’ on-campus speech if certain criteria apply. In Mahanoy, the Court was tasked with determining whether Tinker applies outside the school walls and whether a school may regulate students’ off-campus speech. In this short note, I recommended that the Court apply Tinker to off-campus speech in the following narrow circumstances: if (1) the speech has a sufficient nexus to the school; (2) the speech is substantially likely to cause a significant disturbance to the school environment; and (3) the speech is not good-faith social commentary.