Students need a voice
When you think of the mist amendment most people would probably think of the ability to say what they'd like and have the right to do so. But what most people don't think about is that right includes the freedom to say ideas and opinions that directly oppose your own. This fact tends to be overlooked in most cases to support an organization's interests as repeatedly shown by schools. Schools should not be allowed to limit a student's speech or actions, unless it poses direct harm or threat of harm, as it would be a violation of the first amendment, would require a "big brother" system, and would be logistically impossible.
The ability to say whatever you'd like has been a staple of America ever since its creation. This ability or "unalienable right" is protected by the first amendment and will continue to be protected until the death of this country. That being said, there are a few limitations to this right. For example, you cannot go into a public building and yell "fire" for the explicit reason to cause harm or panic. This also applies to the internet and extensions; you cannot go online and post/say you plan on committing a crime. A prime example was "shoot up your school day" (Espana) where someone on TikTok tried to make children bring weapons every Friday as well as making December 17th "shoot up your school day". Another thing to note is that schools can limit speech that affects the learning environment thanks to the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier supreme court case. With all of this in mind, what constitutes a threat to the school/learning environment? There are no specific examples of what counts so schools will tend to overstep their boundaries by attempting to control and censor everything a student says online as shown in "MAHANOY AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT v. B. L" where a Mahanoy Area High School student "B. L." failed to make the school's varsity cheerleading squad and posted two images on Snapchat that expressed frustration with the school and the school's cheerleading squad, and one contained vulgar language and gestures. Afterward Mahanoy Area High suspended her from participating in cheer for the upcoming year. "B.L." claimed this was a violation of her rights and the case was brought up to the supreme court which ruled for "B.L.".
This isn't a one-off situation either, while this one may have gone to the supreme court, other's have had similar situations in which the schools claim its for the "protection of the learning environment" and are reaching a point where they advocate for complete monitoring and control of what a student can post online outside of school grounds. Following this thought process, a school would need to use what's called a "big brother" system. Big brother refers to the government's surveillance of the people with listening devices and cameras and monitoring a citizen's every move, But this also extends to online tracking as well. If what schools want is fulfilled, they would monitor almost every facet of a student's life through the internet and can punish them for their private affairs. This is a direct violation of an American's implicit right to privacy. While not an amendment it has been heavily shown an American has the right to privacy whether that be online or in their own home. Anyone who cares about privacy aren't going to give away that right to "keep the learning environment safe" because in most cases the learning environment isn't affected by these posts.
Hypothetically let's say students want a safer learning environment and are willing to give away their privacy. Monitoring everything the student body as a whole would be logistically impossible. Take Red Mountain High School as an example: there are more than three thousand students in which each student has at least three or more devices connected to the internet and within each devise a student can have as many alternative accounts as they wish. This would mean this one individual school in needing to monitor tens of thousands of accounts to make sure a student won't post some negative comments about other students or teachers which would have a negligible impact anyways. Even without the specifics, the money it would require doing anything of this sort would vastly outweigh the benefits as the same money could be put into competent counselors for the students who do potentially get impacted by the online comments.
Now some people believe that online bullying can lead to issues inside the classroom and therefore, needs to be censored. There is simply no solid evidence to prove his fact. According to KQED's "Is the Internet Making You Meaner?" (Farrar) there is something called the online disinhibition effect where "being online lowers your inhibitions. This often results in people either behaving meaner or opening up more online than they normally would in face-to-face conversations." (Farrar) this tends to stem from the fact being online not only lowers inhibitions but also bolsters confidence due to anonymity. The fault in the argument that cyberbullying causes real-life issues in class is that once you remove that anonymity people also lose the confidence to say in person what they say online due to the fear of punishment. In the rare case, that cyberbullying leads to bullying at school then those students should be punished as it is directly affecting the learning environment. Now that everything has been laid out before you from the violation of the first amendment, to the big brother mentality, and the logistical impossibility it is your turn to decide whether schools should limit a student's speech or not. But do remember, if you say they should, what's stopping them from taking away that opinion entirely?