Tinker vs. Des Moines
My representation is the defense of Des Moines, Iowa.


1. On a cold, brisk December morning in 1965 five students, and their parents of Des Moines high school made an extremely poor decision by wearing dark, filthy black, inappropriate material representing non-existent peace in a thriving nation. Earlier that week the principal of the high school warned the students and the parents that the armbands would create a nuisance and disrupt the learning environment making the educational atmosphere discontent. They wore the armbands anyway and when they refused to take off the bands they were merely suspended as punishment which is still thought of today as appropriate response to direct refusal to obey school rules. Parents of one of the students, MaryBeth. The Tinkerís disputed the suspension of MaryBeth and her brother, John, and took their case all the way to the Supreme Court.

2. The Tinkerís accused the school district of violating MaryBethís rights as stated in the first and fourteenth amendments. These abrupt accusations were not just and should not have even been permitted in the court of law. The punishment that the school district endured was that adverse publicity and a challenge to the authority of a school district, or school to establish rules for student behavior and conduct.

3. The Tinkerís accused the school district of violating The Bill of Rights, first amendment, the right of freedom of speech and the fourteenth amendment, the rights of the citizens [civil rights]. They claimed that MaryBeth was exercising her rights under the Constitution. They then sued the school district for violating those rights. The school district did not agree and fought to defend their position.



4. The defense reminded the court that the school district authorities have the right to administer rules that will maintain their standards of safety and quality of education for their students. In addition, the school authorities warned the students IN ADVANCE that if they wore an armband to school the punishment would be suspension. In spite of this advance warning the students blatantly engaged in this prohibited activity, disrupting the learning environment. The previously heard case of Cox vs. Louisiana, resulted in the court ruling that school administrators do have the right to set rules and set reasonable punishment for students that do not follow the rules.

5. In the real case of Tinker vs. Des Moines, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Tinker.