U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Declines Appeal by Ex-Cheerleader Who Wouldn’t Cheer Alleged Rapist

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The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by a Texas cheerleader kicked off the squad because she wouldn’t cheer for an athlete she had accused of rape.

The Supreme Court denied cert Monday, report the San Francisco Chronicle and Education Week’s School Law blog.

The cheerleader, identified as H.S., folded her arms and remained silent when the basketball player she had accused went to the free throw line at a game in February 2009. The player pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault in September 2010 and received a suspended sentence.

H.S. had asserted a free-speech right to remain silent.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled last September that the plaintiff’s role as a cheerleader was to serve as a mouthpiece for her school’s support of athletic teams. “Insofar as the First Amendment does not require schools to promote particular student speech, [the district] had no duty to promote H.S.’ message by allowing her to cheer or not cheer, as she saw fit,” the opinion (PDF) said.

The case is Doe v. Silsbee Independent School District.

Hat tip to Pat’s Papers.

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