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Tinker vs. Des Moines, 1969
Transcript of Tinker vs. Des Moines, 1969
The Principals of Des Moines schools had adopted a policy banning these armbands, and any student caught wearing them would be suspenended until willing to comply with this rule.
After they were suspended, the Tinkers sued claiming their first amendments rights had been violated. Mary Beth and John Tinker Basic Facts of the Case The three students and their parents decided to protest the Vietnam War during the Holiday Season by wearing black armbands.
The principals of Des Moines public schools told the students to remove the armbands or face suspension.
The students were suspended until after New Years. Political cartoon about the Tinker vs. Des Moines case. Constitutional Question Does the prohibition against the wearing of armbands in a public school, as a form of symbolic protest, violate the First Amendment's freedom of speech and expression protections? The Court's Decision The court decided that the wearing of armbands was " an act of pure speech" protected by the First Amendment. School environments imply limitations on free expressions, but here the principals lacked justification for imposing such limits. The principals also failed to show that the forbidden conduct would substantially interfere with school discipline. The wearing of armbands was "closely akin to 'pure speech'" and protected by the First Amendment. School environments imply limitations on free expression, but here the principals lacked justification for imposing any such limits.The principals had failed to show that the forbidden conduct would substantially interfere with appropriate school discipline. Dissenting Opinions Justices Hugo Black and John Harlan dissented the Supreme Court's Decison in the case. Black personally believed that disruptive symbolic speech, should not be constitutionally protected under the first amendment. He didn't believe that people can give speeches or engage in demonstrations whenever and wherever they want. Harlan dissented that he found nothing in this record which censors the good faith in respondents promoting armband regulation. Evaluations Nick Brian The court's decision was right. The students' actions are protected under the first amendment, of freedom of speech. In wearing the black armbands in protest they were not directly affecting any of the other students in the school. What the students did was freedom of expression, which is closely similar to freedom of speech. The students were showing what they wanted to say with out actually saying it. Therefore, the decision the court made was the correct one. Rationale of the Court The Court stated that the students had protection under their first amendment rights, the freedom of speech and expression. The Justices said that the wearing of colored armbands in protest of an idea was protected by these rights. The freedom of expression which is similiar to the freedom of speech rationalizes their decision. The justices found it constitutional to wear the armbands in school to protest the war. Also, the justices stated that the principals lacked jurisdiction for imposing any limits on the first amendmeent rights of the students. Also, the principals failed to show that the conduct would interefere with appropriate school discipline. Concurring Opinions Justice Stewart wrote a concurring opinion to the decision. He agreed with the decision made by the majority, but he stated that the extent of the first amendment is not the same for a child as it it is for an adult. A state can also make policies to limit this in certain areas
Justice White also wrote a concurring opinion. He also agreed with the majority, but said that the court needs to recognize a distinction between communicating by words and communicating by acts Plantiff: Tinkers Defendent: Des Moines I personally believe that the court made the correct decision in the Tinker vs. Des Moines case. The principals of the Des Moines public schools had obviously violated the students rights to freedom of speech and expression by instituting a policy not allowing them to wear the armbands protesting the war to school. By suspending the pupils without a legitimate enough reason, the school was unfairly violateing the students first amendment rights. I also believe that the wearing of these armbands most likely didn't disrupt the conduct of the students nor did it effect others students learning process in the school. The Supreme court's decision was correct because the Tinker's were unjustly suspended and had their constitutional rights breached.