Students Shoud NOT Have the Tight to Free Speech Essay
2153 Words9 Pages
According to the First Amendment Center, located at Vanderbilt University and at Washington, D.C.’s Newseum, there are twelve categories of speech that are not protected by First Amendment rights. These are: “obscenity, fighting words, defamation (libel, slander), child pornography, perjury, blackmail, incitement to imminent lawless action, true threats, solicitations to commit crimes, and plagiarism of copyrighted material” (para. 2). The center also adds that “some experts also would add treason, if committed verbally” (para. 2). Nowhere in this list is included “things we don’t like.” Public schools, including public colleges and universities, by law, have to extend first amendment rights to their students, since they are an…show more content…
Now schools had a bit less latitude to discipline students for speech or actions that the school found objectionable.
The landmark case, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (393 U.S. 503 1969), involved three students wearing black armbands to their public schools in protest of the conflict in Vietnam. School officials, learning of the plan, quickly implemented a policy that would prohibit such a display. The students sued, and lost, in federal court. Eventually, the case was tried in the Supreme Court, where the Court ruled in favor of the students, overturning the previous verdict. The Court’s decision, read by Justice Abe Fortas, said that “it can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and expression at the schoolhouse gate” (at 506). By a 7-2 vote, the Court decided that school officials cannot censor or restrict student speech, unless school officials feel that the speech will cause a significant disruption to the school or will interfere with the rights of others at the school. Merely feeling that the speech or action will cause a disturbance is not enough to warrant restricting the speech. The Tinker case is one part of a three part test