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Tinker v Des Moines

Tinker v Des Moines - First Amendment School environments...

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Tinker v. Des Moines comm. School dist 1968 I. Facts a. John Tinker, 15 years old, his sister Mary Beth Tinker, 13 years old, and Christopher Echardt, 16 years old, decided along with their parents to protest the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands to their Des Moines schools during the Christmas holiday season. Upon learning of their intentions, and fearing that the armbands would provoke disturbances, the principals of the Des Moines school district resolved that all students wearing armbands be asked to remove them or face suspension. When the Tinker siblings and Christopher wore their armbands to school, they were asked to remove them. When they refused, they were suspended until after New Year's Day. b. II. Legal Questions presented a. Does a prohibition against the wearing of armbands in public school, as a form of symbolic protest, violate the First Amendment's freedom of speech protections? b. III. Answers a. The wearing of armbands was "closely akin to 'pure speech'" and protected by the
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Unformatted text preview: 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. IV. Reasons (by Justice Fortas) a. Justice Abe Fortas wrote the majority opinion, holding that the speech regulation at issue in Tinker was "based upon an urgent wish to avoid the controversy which might result from the expression, even by the silent symbol of armbands, of opposition to this Nation's part in the conflagration in Vietnam," and, finding that the actions of the Tinkers in wearing armbands did not cause disruption, held that their activity represented constitutionally protected symbolic speech. b. Legal doctrines V. Dissent reasons VI. Concurring reasons Notes...
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  • Spring '10
  • Lermack
  • First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, Des Moines school district, John Tinker, armbands

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