That said, I'm not exactly crestfallen, either.
The ruling is pretty narrow and seems to be focused almost exclusively on speech that promotes drug use. Justice Alito summed it up this way in his concurring opinion:
"Public schools may ban speech advocating illegal drug use," Alito wrote in his concurrence. "But I regard such regulation as standing at the far reaches of what the First Amendment permits. I join the opinion of the Court with the understanding that [it] does not endorse any further extension."
I still think the court was a little silly in thinking that any reasonable person -- yes, even teenagers -- would think that "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" means "Hey you! Go smoke pot!", but I can at least somewhat understand where it was coming from. Doesn't mean I agree with the decision, but I take comfort in knowing that the court took the time to acknowledge that this was a case about drug advocacy and not political or religious speech.
The key will be this: How broadly will administrators try to apply the decision? Although Hazelwood, at its core, is pretty vague, administrators have consistently misapplied even the most specific portions of the majority opinion and used the ruling as sweeping justification for squelching student speech.
The most troubling part for me is that the court has further extended what qualifies as "school sponsored." This was an event that took place outside of school hours and off school grounds. How will administrators and districts try and use this ruling to extend their power off campus? Will this extend to the electronic realm?
Time will only tell.