Presentation on theme: "Student Speech Symbolic Speech 1969 Turbulent Times Country was embroiled in conflict regarding the Vietnam War. This conflict was not approved by Congress."— Presentation transcript:
Turbulent Times Country was embroiled in conflict regarding the Vietnam War. This conflict was not approved by Congress but from a police action that escalated over time. Many did not want to fight in this conflict with unclear war aims, and as a result, many tried to dodge the draft. The country was divided on this war and many youth actively protested.
Essential Questions What is Symbolic Speech? When is Symbolic Speech Protected? How does a School Identify “Disruptive” Speech? How Disruptive is “Disruptive”?
Facts of the Case In 1965, John and Mary Beth Tinker attended public school in Des Moines, Iowa.
Tinker’s were part of group protesting the Vietnam War To publicize their opposition to the Vietnam War, they wore black armbands to school. Principals in the school district, created a rule that any student wearing an armband to school would be suspended unless the armband was removed. What do you think the Tinkers (and a friend- Chris Eckhardt) did?
Tinkers finally returned to school Their fathers filed a suit in the U.S. District Court Asked for damages and an injunction to stop school officials from continuing the armband policy. District Court Decision: School officials policy was reasonable. What were the school officials hoping to avoid? Tinkers appealed the case to the US Court of Appeals- this ended in a tie vote. So, which decision was enforced? Next Step
What types of symbolic speech is Protected? Does it matter that the speech was in a school? It is not clear to what extent “hate” speech is protected. What types of expressive acts are considered “speech”? Does what is going on the country at the time matter (Vietnam War) Did the armbands cause a serious disturbance at the school? Were all political symbols banned? (Iron Cross – Nazi symbol was allowed.)
Sides of the case Plaintiff: Tinker Defense: Des Moines Students are entitled to free speech too. _____ Amendment protects our right to free ________ Other symbols (more hurtful) are allowed in school ____ Amendment also protects the rights of the people _____ Amendment offers equal protection Must be concerned with the safety and welfare of all of the students. School work could be disrupted. Primary purpose of school is __________________ There could be threats of violence on school grounds
Other Cases Schenck v. United States 1919 Individuals could be punished for distributing anti- war pamphlets (which war?) Clear and present danger Thornhill v. Alabama 1940 Picketing is a form of symbolic speech West Virginia v. Barnette 1943 Freedom of expression allowed in schools
Morse v. Frederick 2007 Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment would prevent educators to suppress speech at a school sponsored event if speech could be promoting drug use. 5-4 Decision
7-2 Decision in favor of the Tinkers Majority Opinion Students keep their constitutional right of freedom of speech while in public School School officials must provide constitutionally valid reasons for regulating student expression School officials must show: “material and substantial disruption” with the discipline and education of students Wearing armbands was a “silent, passive expression of opinion” Students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Dissenting (minority) Opinion “myth to say that any person has a constitutional right to say, what he pleases, where he pleases and when he pleases.” Armbands were a distraction taking students minds off their school work Ruling too restrictive on school officials- limiting control over their schools There must be recognition of authority of schools and school officials.
My SONG tune of “Blowing in the Wind” How many times must the Tinkers try To stand up for their rights Yes and how many ways can the district say Armbands off or begin to fight The answer I say is FREEDOM all the way The answer is free expression everyday Why can’t the kids protest the war It’s protected in our Bill of Rights Yes and why was Vietnam such a tragic time With so many unnecessary fights The answer I say is FREEDOM all the way The answer is free expression everyday How can some symbols be allowed And others be unfairly denied Yes and how can the school say yes to the Nazi sign And NO to a champion of light The answer I say is FREEDOM all the way The answer is free expression everyday Our justices vote to affirm our rights There was no disturbance or disorder in school Yes and now we are free to share our views Students thoughts can not be overruled The answer I say is FREEDOM all the way The answer is free expression everyday