Argumentation of the case involving Tinker and the Des Moines School District over freedom of expression

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Tinker vs. Des Moines

During the 15-year period that encompassed the Vietnam War, protests were at an all time high. Demonstrators marched outside public offices, government buildings and any other place they felt their voices would be heard. Often, the demonstrators were arrested and fined for violating the law. But on some occasions, the law was on the side of the protester.

This is true for several cases throughout history. One of the cases, Tinker vs. Des Moines, brought the Freedom of Speech amendment all the way to the Supreme Court. The Petitioners in this case were John Tinker, Christopher Eckhardt, and Mary Beth Tinker. At the time of the original trial, all three petitioners were students in the Des Moines School District and their ages were 15, 16, and 13 respectively.

The three students were suspended from school for wearing black armbands to protest the governments' involvement in Vietnam.

After learning of students' intent to wear and display these armbands, the Des Moines School Board passed a verbal regulation to the wearing of such bands. The School Board instituted the policy that if a student wore an armband to school they would first, be asked to remove it, secondly, if that failed, the students parents would be called. And thirdly if all else fails, the student will be suspended until time that they return to school with out the armband.

After several hearings and appeals, this case was finally heard in the United States Supreme Court on November 12, 1968. After this date the Justices of the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment rights are not suspended at the schoolhouse doors. The Supreme Court had previously held positions in the cases of Pierce vs. Society of Sisters (1925) as well as West Virginia vs. Barnette (1943) and...