While quoting past cases such as Tinker v. DesMoines Independent School District (school could not ban anti-war armbands) and Veronia School District v. Acton (a Fourth Amendment case that went against the student but contains the language that "children assuredly do not 'shed their constitutional rights ... at the schoolhouse gate,'") the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that a Juneau, Alaska, high school could punish a student for unfurling and refusing to put away a banner that said, "BONG HITS 4 JESUS" at the Olympic torch parade on the public street outside the school.
In Morse v. Frederick Justice Roberts wrote the court's decision (5 1/2 to 3 1/2) noting that it was not unreasonable for the principal to conclude that "BONG HITS 4 JESUS" could "materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school" in the same way that sexual metaphors in a graduation speech did in Bethel School Dist. No. 403 v. Fraser.
Roberts wrote that Tinker allows for students' rights to not be absolute and this case is distinguishable because the Tinker court did not go through the "material and substantial disruption analysis" that was articulated in Bethel.
Presumably the answer to the question "Do high school students in public schools have the freedom under G. L. c. 71, § 82 to engage in non-school-sponsored expression that may reasonably be considered vulgar, but causes no disruption or disorder?" is still "affirmative" in Massachusetts and that a student in a similar situation would not be able to be punished without having caused an actual disruption in a Massachusetts high school. See the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Jeffrey J. Pyle v. School Committee of South Hadley, 423 Mass. 283, 667 N.E.2d 869 (1996).