High School Hockey Players’ Cyber-Bullying Suspensions Upheld

Dec. 1, 2021, 5:05 PM

A Massachusetts high school didn’t violate the free speech rights of two hockey players when it suspended them for cyber-bullying a team mate in a Snapchat group, the First Circuit ruled.

Hopkinton High School officials reasonably concluded that the players’ messages “fostered an environment” that emboldened bullies and “encouraged others in the invasion” of the rights of the targeted student, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit said in an opinion released Tuesday.

“Speech that actively encourages such direct or face-to-face bullying conduct is not constitutionally protected,” the court said, identifying the victim only as Robert Roe.

The ...

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