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Tinker V. Des Moines
Transcript of Tinker V. Des Moines
The Supreme Court ruling explained that "Students don't shed their constitutional rights at the school house gates." This means that the First Amendment is guaranteed whether or not students are at school. Of course, this applies as long as they do not practice this right in a disorderly or unruly way. The peaceful wearing of the armbands is an example of this.
TINKER v. DES MOINES INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Original Court Decision
The Court's decision
The Minority Opinion:
How did the ruling effect people?
"Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)." Bill of Rights Institute Landmark Supreme Court Cases Tinker v Des Moines 1969 Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.
"Tinker v. Des Moines Podcast." USCOURTSGOV RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.
"TINKER v. DES MOINES INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT." Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.
"Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.
In early December of 1965, students Mary Beth Tinker, John
Background of the case
Tinker, and Christopher Eckhardt held a meeting in Des Moines,
Iowa. They came up with a plan to wear a black armband to show
their support for a truce in the Vietnam War. Soon after this, the
Principals of the Des Moines community schools heard of the plan
and met to create a policy that would ban the wearing of these
armbands. Any student caught wearing an armband would be
asked to remove it. Refusal would cause suspension.
On December 16, 1965 Christopher and Mary Beth decided to attend
school wearing their armband despite the new policy. They were
sent home while the next day, John Tinker attended school with his
armband. The students were all suspended until January 1, 1966.
Iowa Civil Liberties Union and ACLU agreed to assist the family members in carrying out a lawsuit. The parents of the students sued the school district for violating the students' right to freedom of expression and speech listed under the First Amendment. They filed suit in the U.S. District Court. The court dismissed the case and upheld the actions of the Des Moines schools. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit supported the previous decision.
The Tinkers and Eckhardts later appealed to the Supreme Court directly. The case was heard November 12, 1968 before the Court.
Supreme Court Ruling
The Majority Opinion:
Justice Abe Fortas delivered the opinion of the 7 to 2 majority in favor of the students. The Supreme Court ruling explained that the gesture of wearing black armbands in protest of the Vietnam War displayed pure speech. In order for the school officials to have authority to ask for the removal of the armbands was if they could prove that they interfered with or disrupted the school atmosphere.
Justice Hugo Black argued that the First Amendment does not enable you to express your opinion at any time. He stated that since the armbands distracted some students from their school work, school administrators had the authority for disciplinary action.