Tinker V Des Moines Case

769 WordsJun 4, 20124 Pages
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District 393 U.S. 503 "It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate." This was the main argument from Justice Abe Fortas that came into play at the Tinker v. Des Moines School District Case of 1969. The case involved a small group of students who silently dissented against the government’s policy during the ongoing Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to school. In response by the school administration, each of those students was suspended from the public schools they attended in Des Moines, Iowa. This case is a prime example of the Constitutionally protected symbolic speech we have…show more content…
Black stated an unpopular opinion, saying that it was a "myth to say that any person has a constitutional right to say what he pleases, where he pleases, and when he pleases,” while other dissenter Justice John M. Harlan found nothing wrong with teachers regulating armbands and their suspension was for a legitimate reason. The act of the School District in suspending the students clearly showed a serious impediment of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth. All students who petitioned were quiet and passive, neither disrupting nor interfering with school activities and the rights of other students—which makes their symbolic speech protected under the Constitution. What the students were protesting against accounts for their expression of opinion, which is again protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Since this case, the Supreme Court has issued decisions that have given school administrators more power to regulate student conduct. Nevertheless, the Tinker decision changed the way students seek to exercise their First Amendment rights
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