Four student athletes who were kicked off their high school football team after circulating a petition critical of their coach filed an appeal Friday for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case. A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August 2007 that the players’ First Amendment rights were not infringed upon because their efforts undermined the coach’s authority, and because their only punishment was being removed from a voluntary extracurricular activity. The students were then denied a motion for full-court review.
The students’ petition to the Supreme Court asks the justices to decide whether the Court’s major student speech precedents "permit school officials to punish a student for his viewpoint of his speech as long as the speech does not involve a matter of public concern."