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Supreme Court won't take on student's free speech rap song case

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court is staying out of an interesting free speech debate about the power of school officials to discipline students for things they write or say away from school.

The justices on Monday left in place the suspension of a Mississippi high school student who posted a rap song online that criticized two coaches over allegations they behaved inappropriately toward female students.

Student Taylor Bell recorded the song at a professional studio over winter break and then posted it on his Facebook page in February 2011.

Bell sued after Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi, suspended him for seven days. Lower courts upheld the suspension, saying it made no difference where Bell made and distributed the song.

The case is Bell v. Itawamba School Board, 15-666.

This isn't the first time the high school has made headlines. In 2010, the high school settled a case with a lesbian student who sued the school district over its ban of same-sex prom dates. A school district policy in 2010 required that dates be of the opposite sex.