Tinker-summary & questions.docx - Name Trinity Ouellette Tinker v Des Moines(1969 Summary Questions John and Mary Beth Tinker were public school

Tinker-summary & questions.docx - Name Trinity...

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Name: Trinity Ouellette Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)- Summary & Questions John and Mary Beth Tinker were public school students in Des Moines, Iowa in December of 1965. As part of a group against American involvement in the Vietnam War, they decided to publicize their opposition by wearing black armbands to school. Having heard of the students' plans, the principals of the public schools in Des Moines adopted and informed students of a new policy concerning armbands. This policy stated that any student who wore an armband to school would be asked immediately to remove it. A student who refused to take off his or her armband would be suspended until agreeing to return to school without the band. Two days later and aware of the school policy, the Tinker children and a friend decided to wear armbands to school. Upon arriving at school, the children were asked to remove their armbands. They did not remove the armbands and were subsequently suspended until they returned to school without their armbands. The children returned to school without armbands after January 1, 1966, the date scheduled for the end of their protest. However, their fathers filed suit in U.S. District Court. This suit asked the court for a small amount of money for damages and an injunction to restrain school officials from enforcing their armband policy. Although the District Court recognized the children's First Amendment right to free speech, the court refused to issue an injunction, claiming that the school officials' actions were reasonable in light of potential disruptions from the students' protest. The Tinkers appealed their case to the U.S. Court of Appeals but were disappointed when a tie vote in that court allowed the District Court's ruling stand. As a result, they decided to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of the United States. The case came down to this fundamental question: Do the First Amendment rights of free speech extend to symbolic speech by students in public schools? And, if so, in what circumstances is that symbolic speech protected? The First Amendment states "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech." The Fourteenth Amendment
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  • Winter '17
  • Angie DalBello

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