A Student 's Right 's Freedom

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Speak Up or Shut Up: A Student 's Right 's In the winter of 1965, students of Des Moines Independent School District gathered and resolved to fast from December 16th to the start of the New Year to protest the Vietnam War, wearing black armbands to symbolize their opposition. Having learned of the student 's plans the district 's school principals decided to punish all those who wore an armband. On the 16th of December, the first day of the protest, Mary Beth Tinker attended school as they planned, wearing a black armband, despite knowing the consequences. She was suspended as soon as discovered. The following day Christopher Eckhardt was suspended after walking into the principal 's office and telling him he was wearing the armband. Lastly, Mary Beth 's brother, John Tinker, was suspended the day after that. In all, the school district suspended five students, giving them the ultimatum: stop wearing the armbands or don 't come back. When a child enters a school 's campus, they relinquish certain rights for the greater good of society and the health of the school. The idea of selective incorporation applied to states is further restricted on school grounds. However, what can be said and what is best left unspoken? How can speech, or in this case he absence of speech, endanger students? In the Supreme Court case Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent School District the petitioners argued that the ban against wearing such armbands in a public school as a form of symbolic protest was unconstitutional and infringed on student rights. The Tinker and Eckhardt families quickly responded by filing a complaint in Iowa State District Court seeking nominal damages and restrictions to be placed upon the acting school officials responsible for t... ... middle of paper ... ... as a Justice in the Warren Court, Abe Fortas has written the majority opinion for several freedoms of speech decisions. His precedent, that in order for school officials to infringe on a student 's First Amendment rights, they must first prove it would “materially and substantially interfere” with the operation of the school. This ruling began with Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent School District and has held true throughout the years. The right of speech on school grounds is now seen as clear as day: obscenity is forbidden, speech that would harm another is prohibited and silent forms of protest or symbols are protected. The right for a school child to wear a black armband in a form of silent opposition can no longer be stopped. Under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, students do have the right to speech and no form of government can take that away any longer.
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