Branches of Government - The Judicial Branch - Landmark Supreme Court Cases
What led to this court case?
Protesting the war in school!? You two are suspended!
In 1965, John and Marybeth Tinker were students that opposed the Vietnam War. In an effort to symbolically display their opinions towards the war, both students wore black armbands to school and were soon suspended for doing so.
Des Moines' Argument
Tinker vs. Des Moines
The Tinkers argued that their armbands were a form of symbolic speech. The students believed that the First Amendment of the Constitution protected their freedom of speech and petition.
Supreme Court Ruling
How am I supposed to learn when she is protesting in class!?
It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.
The Des Moines school district suspended the Tinkers because the school believed that their form of protest was a distraction for other students in the school. From the district's perspective, a school was not an appropriate place to protest the Vietnam War.
The Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 decision that the students had the right to wear the armbands in school, as it was protected by the First Amendment.