The Tinker Case Of 1969 Expanded Students ' 1st Amendment Rights

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The Tinker case of 1969 expanded students’ 1st Amendment rights in school and established the Tinker Test for future cases, whereas, if there was not a disturbance, and others were let alone, students First Amendment rights were intact. LaMorte (2012) notes “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” (p. 87). Freedom to express societal, political, and/or economic issues even if they are unpopular, are permitted in school as long as work is not disrupted and there are no threats of violence. Tinker’s right to wear an armband protesting the Vietnam War, a controversial societal issue, was upheld and begin the trend toward promoting students’ 1st Amendment rights in schools. Unlike the Tinker case, where the student dealt with public policy, the Fraser case (1986) dealt with vulgar speech at school that did not meet educational values, hence, the court ruled in favor of the school to prohibit such disrespectful behavior and to limit 1st Amendment rights of students. However, the court noted that if Fraser gave that speech outside of school, he would be protected. Even though initially the State Supreme Court ruled that Fraser’s 1st Amendment rights were violated, the US Supreme Court overturned that decision because the court felt there should be some limitations to students’ free speech at school and they do not hold the same liberties as adults. Moreover, this ruling

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