Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tinker v. Des Moines

Case Name: Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District

Year: 1969

Result: 7-2, favor Tinker

Related Constitutional Issue/Amendment: Amendment I, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression

Civil Rights or Civil Liberties: Civil Liberties

Significance/Precedent: This case was one of the few rulings in favor of the students as opposed to the school district. It established that the schools did not have absolute authority in First Amendment cases and is frequently referenced in other Court rulings. The power of the First Amendment was indirectly expanded.

Quote from Majority Opinion: "First Amendment rights, applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment, are available to teachers and students. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

Summary of the Dissent: The dissent argued that children do indeed give up some degree of their First Amendment rights in school. They believed that the school had the right to regulate the wearing of the armbands. Supporting Tinker undermined the authority of the school officials.
Quote: "Iowa's public schools...are operated to give students an opportunity to learn, not to talk politics by actual speech, or by "symbolic" speech."

Six-word Summary: Students retain their freedom of expression

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