By John Klar
A Vermont High School recently banned a young girl from sporting events for allegedly chanting “Let’s Go Brandon!” at a basketball game. The school claims the phrase is “profane” and may be prohibited under the student handbook’s command to “respect all people, their feelings, their possessions, and their right to an education.”
Constitutional law says otherwise. Schools can prohibit foul language, but any child can see that this language is simply not foul.
Foul language is protected speech, especially if political. In Cohen v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court considered criminal charges against a Vietnam War protester who sported a jacket in the courthouse displaying “F— the Draft.” Noting that the First Amendment was “designed and intended to remove governmental restraints from the arena of public discussion,” Justice Harlan observed of the “F” word in Cohen:
[T]he principle contended for by the State seems inherently boundless. How is one to distinguish this from any other offensive word? Surely the State has no right to cleanse public debate to the point where it is grammatically palatable to the most squeamish among us. Yet no readily ascertainable general principle exists for stopping short of that result were we to affirm the judgment below. For, while the particular four-letter word being litigated here is perhaps more distasteful than most others of its genre, it is nevertheless often true that one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.
Vermont’s overzealous social justice bureaucrats have launched their reprogramming agenda in reckless disregard of basic constitutional liberties. This school has banned T-shirts proclaiming, “There are only two genders” — social “theory” is employed to subjugate objective biological science.
If free speech were allowed to thrive, such bizarre ideological machinations would shrivel under the light of intellectual scrutiny.