Their father, a Methodist minister without a church, is paid a salary by the American Friends Service Committee. These have, of course, important, delicate, and highly discretionary functions, but none that they may not perform within the limits of the Bill of Rights. Finding nothing in this record which impugns the good faith of respondents in promulgating the armband regulation, I would affirm the judgment below. The principals of the Des Moines schools became aware of the plan to wear armbands. On the other hand, the Court has repeatedly emphasized the need for affirming the comprehensive authority of the States and of school officials, consistent with fundamental constitutional safeguards, to prescribe and control conduct in the schools.
Inspired by Civil Rights protests, the three were part of a group of students who decided to wear the armbands as a silent protest in support of a ceasefire in Vietnam. Accordingly, this case does not concern speech or action that intrudes upon the work of the schools or the rights of other students. And the same reasons are equally applicable to curtailing in the States' public schools the right to complete freedom of expression. First Amendment and religion law experts Stephanie Barclay and Richard Katskee explore this question and many others with host Jeffrey Rosen. Updegraff, , 195 1952 concurring opinion ; Sweezy v. Clearly, the prohibition of expression of one particular opinion, at least without evidence that it is necessary to avoid material and substantial interference with schoolwork or discipline, is not constitutionally permissible. Case Commentary Even if a topic is controversial, and some disruption may occur, expressive conduct is protected by the First Amendment.
The District Court concluded that the action of the school authorities was reasonable because it was based upon their fear of a disturbance from the wearing of the armbands. . See also Note, Unconstitutional Conditions, 73 Harv. The order prohibiting the wearing of armbands did not extend to these. The first is absolute but, in the nature of things, the second cannot be.
Any variation from the majority's opinion may inspire fear. As we have discussed, the record does not demonstrate any facts which might reasonably have led school authorities to forecast substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities, and no disturbances or disorders on the school premises in fact occurred. Justice McReynolds may have intimated to the contrary in Meyer v. Another student who defied the school order and insisted on wearing an armband in school was Christopher Eckhardt, an 11th grade pupil and a petitioner in this case. Petitioners and their parents had previously engaged in similar activities, and they decided to participate in the program. Nebraska, supra, certainly a teacher is not paid to go into school and teach subjects the State does not hire him to teach as a part of its selected curriculum. Barnette, 1943 ; Stromberg v.
Eckhardt went to school, had the armband on, knowing of the policy against the wearing of the armbands, because as I say it had been announced. Of course, students, like other people, cannot concentrate on lesser issues when black armbands are being ostentatiously displayed in their presence to call attention to the wounded and dead of the war, some of the wounded and the dead being their friends and neighbors. The principals of the Des Moines schools became aware of the plan to wear armbands. The students did not visit the studying until the end of the protest, which was planned on the New Year's Day. Conduct remains subject to regulation for the protection of society.
The principal use to which the schools are dedicated is to accommodate students during prescribed hours for the purpose of certain types of activities. On September 1, 1966, Chief Judge Roy Stephenson of the U. The Fourteenth Amendment has rendered the legislatures of the states as incompetent as Congress to enact such laws. Its decision upholding the policy was sustained when the Eighth Circuit deadlocked in its review, which resulted in a direct appeal to the Supreme Court. Des Moines Independent Community School District has been a hugely influential and frequently cited case regarding First Amendment rights for students. Petitioners and their parents had previously engaged in similar activities, and they decided to participate in the program.
Ordered to refrain from wearing the armbands in school by the elected school officials and the teachers vested with state authority to do so, apparently only seven out of the school system's 18,000 pupils deliberately refused to obey the order. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa upheld the prohibition against armbands. On December 14, 1965, they met and adopted a policy that any student wearing an armband to school would be asked to remove it, and, if he refused, he would be suspended until he returned without the armband. With him on the brief were Herschel G. This conclusion was reinforced by the fact that the schools had banned only the black armbands. The school, anticipating the protest after the student newspaper published an article about it, had created a policy that prohibited the armbands. Here a very small number of students have crisply and summarily refused to obey a school order designed to give pupils who want to learn the opportunity to do so.
They did not return to school until after the planned period for wearing armbands had expired -- that is, until after New Year's Day. But our Constitution says we must take this risk, Terminiello v. 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. Justice Black's prophecy proved false. It's a First Amendment free speech case in the sense of expression of views rather than a worship or establishment cases.
Nor are public school students sent to the schools at public expense to broadcast political or any other views to educate and inform the public. Filed Under: , , , Was a high school coach unconstitutionally fired for praying on a football field? Under our Constitution, free speech is not a right that is given only to be so circumscribed that it exists in principle but not in fact. While a school board will receive some deference from courts, it must be able to cite something more than discomfort, awkwardness, or inconvenience as a basis for restricting speech. On the contrary, the action of the school authorities appears to have been based upon an urgent wish to avoid the controversy which might result from the expression, even by the silent symbol of armbands, of opposition to this Nation's part in the conflagration in Vietnam. While the record does not show that any of these armband students shouted, used profane language, or were violent in any manner, detailed testimony by some of them shows their armbands caused comments, warnings by other students, the poking of fun at them, and a warning by an older football player that other, nonprotesting students had better let them alone. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. In these circumstances, their conduct was within the protection of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth.
It prayed for an injunction restraining the respondent school officials and the respondent members of the board of directors of the school district from disciplining the petitioners, and it sought nominal damages. In December 1965, a group of adults and students in Des Moines held a meeting at the Eckhardt home. School officials do not possess absolute authority over their students. Arkansas, supra, at 104; Meyer v. Louisiana, , 555, and Adderley v.