The Tinker V. Des Moines Independent School District Decision Of 1969

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One of the most well-known Supreme Cases involving student rights was the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District decision of 1969. The verdict quickly became a precedent for many other decisions involving school issues and is very relevant today. In December of 1965, students attending Des Moines Public Schools held a meeting at Christopher Eckhardt 's house to conduct a plan to show their support for a truce in the ongoing Vietnam War. They resolved to wear black armbands during the holiday season and also to fast on December 16 and on New Years. The principals at the school received word of the plan, and on December 14, they established a policy that banned armbands in school. Anyone who refused to remove the armband at a teacher’s request would be suspended. However, this did not deter Mary Beth Tinker and Christopher Eckhardt, who, on December 16, wore their armbands and were sent home. John Tinker did the same thing the next day and was immediately sent home. None of them returned to school until after New Years. Their fathers then sued the schools for violating their children 's right to freedom of expression. However, the District Court dismissed the case, and the US Court of Appeals affirmed the decision, because of this, the families appealed to the Supreme Court. The children’s right to free speech was being violated. They argued that their protesting of the war was within the confines of the First Amendment. Since their wearing of the bands did not
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