News Bulletin! There is no constitutional right to be a cheerleader!

We thought this point was well established.  There have been numerous judicial decisions about kids participating in various extracurricular activities.  The message from those cases has been consistent and clear—the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee, or even protect, the right to participate in after school activities.

The Constitution does protect a student’s right to an education. That’s why “due process” is necessary prior to a suspension from school, even a short one.  But the student’s right to “property” and “liberty” comes to an end when the school day does.

Federal Judge Sam Lindsay affirmed these basic principles in a case involving a wannabe cheerleader in Highland Park ISD (Region 10).  It’s a lengthy decision addressing myriad claims by the parents and the student.  As to cheerleading, here is the takeaway quote:

The court disagrees with Plaintiffs’ contention that Kate has a property or liberty interest in cheerleading.

That’s pretty clear.  What were Kate and her parents and their lawyer thinking? They cited a Pennsylvania case from 2011, but the judge found their reliance on this case “misplaced.”  In fact, Hizzoner had some harsh words to say about this:

Plaintiffs are not being forthright with the court, and the court is troubled by their attempt to mislead it through the misapplication of case law.

We will talk more about this very interesting case next week. But this being a Friday, we had to highlight the cheerleader aspect.  Have a good weekend, Readers!

The case is Dabney v. Highland Park ISD, decided by the federal court for the Northern District of Texas on March 31, 2016.