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Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Expression: Tinker V. Des Moines Essay

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What if you were suspended from school because of something you were wearing? Not only was the clothing or item appropriate, it was something you were fighting for or something you believe is right. Is this fair or okay for this to happen? There is a specific incident that this situation happened to a few teenagers in Des Moines, Iowa in December of 1965. A group of students wanting to wear black armbands throughout the holiday season was in for a wake up call. (FORTAS) These plans and or idea were quickly shot down by the high school principals. The principals caught wind of the teen’s plan, so there was a meeting a few days beforehand. The talk of the meeting was to ensure the teens that if they were to wear the black armbands a few days from then, they would be asked to remove the bands, if they refused, suspension would be given.(KELLY) Is this a violation of the First Amendment?
The first amendment states some of the freedoms we have. These are freedom of religion and freedom of expression. These include the right to free speech, press, assembly, and to petition the government. The reason for wanting to wear the black armbands was to show their anti-war belief in the Vietnam War. Rebelling against the authority figures’ ruling, three students wore the armbands and got suspended. The students’ names are John F. Tinker, who was 15 years old at the time, Christopher Eckhardt, 16 years old, and 13 year old Mary Beth Tinker (John’s younger sister). Getting suspended, the students did not return until after New Year’s Day (FORTAS). “This case was significant because the justices stated, “students do not abandon their civil rights at the school house door....” The school is not allowed to limit a student or teachers first amendment...


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... Community School District." Education for Freedom Lesson 8 - Case Summary: Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. The Freedom Forum., 5 June 1990. Web. 11 Apr. 2014
Calagna, Codi. "Codi Calagna's E-Journal." Codi Calagna's E-Journal: Pedagogical Blogging. Codi Calagna, 28 Nov. 2012. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.
Fortas, Justice. "Tinker v. Des Moines School District (1969)." Tinker v. Des Moines School District (1969). Independent Community School District, 5 Oct. 2009. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Gold, Susan D. Two Students Go to Court. Tinker V. Des Moines: Free Speech for Students. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 29-34. Print.
Kelly, Martin. "Tinker v. Des Moines." About.com American History. American History, 7 Apr. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.
Wheeler, David R. "Do Students Still Have Free Speech in School?" The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 07 Apr. 2014. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.



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