The school district said it had an interest in protecting an audience of minors from indecent speech in the school. The school board believed it had the right to control language that was used during a school-sponsored activity. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court. The district court found the disruptive-conduct rule unconstitutionally vague and broad, and that withdrawal of the student's name from the graduation speaker's list violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because the rule did not mention such removal as a likely sanction. The court made the case that nothing in the Constitution forbids the states from insisting that certain forms of expression are unfitting and subject to sanctions.
They were asked to take off the armbands, and they refused resulting in suspension ("Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School Dist"). Then the parents of those complained that the first amendment rights of those students were violated. This case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled that students still have their rights of freedom of speech and expression in school in a 7-2 vote in favor of Tinker (“TINKER v. DES MOINES INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT”). Furthermore, the opinion of the Supreme Court reveled that students can express their opinions anywhere even when the principal clearly made a rule banning armbands so problems would not be created.
Two days later, aware of the policy, the Tinkers and a friend wore their armbands to school. They were asked to remove the armbands and upon refusal, were suspended. They returned to school after January 1st, 1966, when the protest was scheduled to end. The Tinker’s filed a lawsuit against the school in a district court, asking for a small amount of money for damages and an injunction to restrain school officials from enforcing the policy. The court recognized the students’ First Amendment rights, but concluded that the school was within its jurisdiction in due to potential disruptions caused by the students’ silent protest.
The book was later reinstated in the curriculum when the board learned that the vote was illegal because they needed a two-thirds vote for removal of the text.' 'In 1977 parents in Pittsgrove Township, New Jersey, challenged the assignment of the novel in an American literature class. They charged that the book included considerable profanity and "filthy and profane" language that premoted premarital sex, homosexuality, and perversion, as well as claiming that it was "explicitly pornographic" and "immoral." After months of controversy, the board ruled that the novel could be read in the advanced placement class for its universal message, not for its profanity, but they gave parents the right to decide whether or not their children would read it.' 'In 1978 parents in Issaquah, Washington, became upset with the rebellious views expressed in the novel by Holden Caulfield and with the
To make this statement more clear, in 2003, a high school senior was suspended from school for wearing a tee-shirt of President George W. Bush with the statement “International Terrorist.” (ACLU , 1997-2009) The student’s suspension was later reversed because of the First Amendment. If the school had a uniform policy, then the student would not have been able to express his political view-point. Note that, even if there is a uniform policy, election pins or buttons can still be worn, but these types of pins might be prohibited if they are related to gang signs or such. Piercings, however, are not protected under the First Amendment; like the political tee-shirt. Piercings are non-verbal communication and do not convey a specific message and, therefore, are not protected as speech.
Journalism students across the country are seeing the effects of the Hazelwood decision through administrative censorship of their school's newspaper. In 1988, the Unites States Supreme Court made the decision that, "High School principal's deletion from school-sponsored student newspaper of pages containing articles he reasonably considered objectionable held not violate students' First Amendment rights," (Hazelwood). Earlier, in 1987, the May 13th edition of Hazelwood East's newspaper was scheduled to contain articles student's experiences with pregnancy and divorce. The principal decided to withhold these articles from the final edition of the newspaper, on the basis that they were deemed obscene (Hazelwood). The students fought the censorship, saying that for something to be legally obscene, it must be "patently offensive, appeal to prurient interest, and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific values," (Martinson 3).
At first I was angry at the school because I could wear clothing that was obscene or contained liquor advertisements, now they have completely taken away my freedom of speech. This of course proved my argument that teachers and administrators are totalitarians. As one journalist put it, "If Freedom of expression becomes merely an empty slogan in the minds of enough children, it will be dead by the time we are adults." I soon began reading more and more about the freedom of speech in schools and every time a subject as such came up the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the student declaring the action unconstitutional under the first amendment. As I was reading Nat Hentoff's book The First Freedom I came across a story in which a student wrote a newspaper article criticizing the school administration, soon after he ran for student government and was taken off the ballot for his critique.
Student court cases against schools, or vice versa, are not as uncommon as they may seem. Tinker v. Des Moines was a court case that ended in 1969 regarding students protesting the Vietnam War. The three students involved in the trial wore black armbands to school, which was prohibited, and were suspended. Since the students felt that their First Amendment right was abused by the school therefore they took the issue to a local court, then eventually the Supreme Court. The case has left a mark on First Amendment rights for students since then.
I fully agree with the District Court and the First Circuit Court on the ruling for the school district against Jason, a high school student that wrote a facebook post during school hours and on school campus that included vulgar and offensive words towards his fellow classmates in which he named in the post. When first looking at this case you can either apply the Supreme Court precedent set in the case of Bethel School District v. Fraser or Tinker vs. Des Moines. If we apply the Fraser test to Jason’s speech his speech would have not been protected. According to Fraser schools may prohibit speech that “materially and substantially interferes with the educational process is prohibited, including the use of obscene, profane language or gestures." Fraser majority at page 2.
In December 1965, an issue was caused by teachers’ in violating students’ freedom of speech. In December some students from Des Moines Independent Community School District, in Iowa were suspended for wearing black armbands to protest against the American Government’s war policy in support Vietnam (Richard, Clayton, and Patrick).The school district pressed a complaint about it, although the students caused no harm to anyone. Students should be able to voice their opinions without the consequences of the school district. It was irrational for these students to be suspended from the school. The high school students named John F. Tinker, who was fifteen-years-old, John’s younger sister Mary Beth Tinker, who was thirteen-years-old, and their friend Christopher Eckhardt, who was sixteen years old, should not have been suspended.