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Tinker v. Des Moines 1969

A summary of the famous Tinker v. Des Moines. The Tinker Family sought nominal damages after the dismissal of John and Mary Beth Tinker. The charges were dismissed, appealed, and then it was ruled, with a 7-2 majority, in favor of the Tinker family.

Rey Cruz

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of Tinker v. Des Moines 1969

Reasons for the Supreme Court Decision Justice Abe Fortas wrote for the majority {7-2} Original Verdict Two Parties The plaintiff and the defendant Tinker vs. Des Moines (1969) Presented by Robinson, Cruz, and Associates What would we have ruled? Students should not have to censor or hide their opinions because they are in school. Certain rights should not be stifled just because the protest spreads to the classrooms. Case and Ruling Mr. Tinker filed a petition that prayed for nominal damages from the Des Moines Independent Community School District.

The District Court in Des Moines, Iowa dismissed the complaint made by Mr. Tinker; it was believed the armbands could have created a disturbance.
Tinker Family (plantiff) and Des Moines Independent Community School District The Verdict of the Supreme Court

The majority decided that students have the right to express themselves when attending an institute of education as long as they do so without disturbing the public. Amendments Used in the Court Cases The First Amendment - Freedom of Speech
The Fourteenth Amendment - Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause Background The Tinker Family and Eckhardt Family (plaintiffs) v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (Defendant) -The school that the Tinker children attended was within the Des Moines Community School District.
-The School district found out about a plan for some of the students to wear black armbands in protest of the Vietnam War during the Holiday season.
-With this information, the school board decided that any student that came to school with an armband would be suspended until they stopped wearing the armband.
Relationship between Plaintiffs and Defendant Events that Led to the Court Case -15 year old John F. Tinker, `16 year old Christopher Eckhardt , and `13 year old Mary Beth Tinker wore black armbands to school one December day.
-Teachers sent them home because the armbands were prohibited by the newly made school district policy that was introduced.
-The students were suspended and couldn’t come back until they stopped wearing the armbands. The Tinkers stayed out of school until the armband protest was over.
-Mr. Tinker filed a petition against the Des Moines School district which reached district court, but it was ruled in favor of the school district.
-The case then went to the Appellate courts.
Majority/Concurrent Argument Justice Hugo Black pointed out that only a few students protested and disobeyed the rules; if the Tinker and Eckhardt family got off then the school systems across the nation would fall apart. -Students Have 1st Amendment rights
- No evidence to indicated a premeditated disturbance
-Opinions of students should not be regulated because they are in school
-School officials wanted to punished the protestors for the protest not because they were afraid of a disturbance. Dissenting Opinion Students are not expected to censor their opinions or ideas just because they are in an institution of learning, especially when they do not have the intent to create a disturbance. A school building does not regulate the 1st amendment rights of students! Impact of Tinker v. Des Moines Bibliography



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