Tinker v Des Moines Independent Community School District 393 U.S. 503 (1969) Facts: After three public school students wore black armbands to school to protest the government’s policy in Vietnam, school officials suspended them out of fear of possible disruption of school activities. Although there were a few hostile remarks made to the students wearing the armbands, there were no threats or acts of violence on school premises. After several principals adopted a policy that any students wearing armbands to school would be suspended until they removed them, several students filed action seeking to enjoin school officials from disciplining them further. Issue: Is this considered protected speech? Holding: Court invalidated the suspensions and held the policy unconstitutional in a 7-2 vote. Rationale: Justice Fortas delivered the opinion: To quote, he wrote the “wearing of an armband for the purpose of expressing certain views is the type of symbolic act that is within the [First] Amendment…” and “… is closely akin to ‘pure speech’.” Neither the
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First Amendment to the United States Constitution, school officials, justice Harlan, Des Moines Independent Community School District