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Tinker V Des Moines Tinker V Des Moines was a very controversial case In December 1965 a group of adults and students in Des Moines including 15 year old John Tinker his sister Mary Beth their friend Christopher Eckhardt and their parents had held a meeting at the Eckhardt home The group determined to publicize their objections to the hostilities in Vietnam and their support for a truce by wearing black armbands and fasting during the holiday season Upon learning of their intentions and fearing that the armbands would provoke disturbances the principals of Des Moines School district decided that all students wearing the armbands be asked to remove them or face suspension because the school had adopted a new policy that any student wearing an armband would be asked to remove it and if not they would be removed from school When the Tinkers and Christopher wore these armbands to school they were asked to remove them They refused and they were suspended from school until they returne d to school without the armband that policy would expire after New Years Day Does a prohibition against the wearing of armbands in public school as a form of symbolic protest violate the First Amendments protections The Court of Appeals sitting en banc affirmed by an equally divided court said that wearing armbands the petitioners were quiet and passive They were not disruptive and did not impinge upon the rights of others In these circumstances there conduct was within the protection of the Free Speech Clause in the First Amendment and the Due process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment Also they came to a conclusion that First Amendment rights are available to teachers and students subject to application in the light of the special characteristics of the school environment The conclusions of the case were that wearing the armbands was closely akin to pure speech and protected by the First Amendment School
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