October 8, 2012
Tinker V. Des Moines: Does the first amendment protect everyone In 1969, Des Moines Iowa school districts, it was fine to wear the iron cross to support Nazis but it was not okay to wear arm bands to support stopping the Vietnam War. (“Tinker V. Des Moines” 3) When students wore the arm bands they were asked to go home and suspended from school. This set up the case for Tinker v. Des Moines independent school district, a case that would determine the right of free speech for students. This case can be better understood by studying the Des Moines independent schools, students and their policies, examining the decision of the court and, reflecting on how it has influenced society today. In this court case John F. tinker, fifteen years old, Christopher Eckhardt, sixteen years old, and Mary Beth Tinker, thirteen years old were involved. In December, 1965, a group of adults and students in Des Moines held a meeting at the Eckhardt home ( “Tinker v. Des Moines” 1) The group determined to publicize their objections to the hostilities in Vietnam and their support for a truce by wearing black armbands during the holiday season and by fasting on December 16 and New Year's Eve. Petitioners and their parents had previously engaged in similar activities, and they decided to participate in the program. Before Tinker v. Des Moines the opinions students could and couldn’t voice was decided on by the schools. This changed when three students, John Tinker, Mary Beth Tinker and, Christopher Eckhardt decided to voice their opinions on the Vietnam War by wearing black arm bands (“Tinker V. Des Moines”1). The School system demanded the students to take off their arm bands or they would be suspended. The students refused to take them off didn’t attend school till after their winter break (“Tinker v. Des Moines” 1). John Tinker’s father thought this was unfair that their children were singled out for wearing armbands while other students were allowed to wear other...
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