This article from The Des Moines Register was entered as defendants' Exhibit 2 in John F. Tinker et. al. v. The Des Moines Independent Community School District et. al. It describes the decision of Des Moines, Iowa, school officials to ban students from wearing black armbands to school in support of a Vietnam War truce. A group of junior high and high school students had decided to wear black armbands from December 16 until New Year's Day to peacefully express their "grief over the deaths of soldiers and civilians in Vietnam."
On December 14, Des Moines School District principals met and enacted a rule that "any student wearing an arm band would be asked to remove the arm band, and if he refused he would be suspended until he returned without the arm band." The policy was announced to all students on December 15, as well as reported in this newspaper article. Students Mary Beth Tinker, John Tinker, Christopher Eckhardt and two others were suspended after refusing to remove their black armbands when they arrived at school on December 16 and 17. About a dozen other students also wore armbands. Upon their suspensions, the Tinkers and Eckhardt refused to return to school until after New Year's Day – the intended period for wearing the armbands.
Transcript of "D.M. Schools Ban Wearing of Viet Truce Armbands" Article
- What arguments did school officials use against the protests by students?
- In the final paragraph, the director of secondary schools characterized the protestors as looking for publicity. How did he use his power in this medium to try to control the narrative about these protests? Do you feel he was trying to control the narrative or was he providing his justification?
Magarrell, Jack, "D.M. Schools Ban Wearing of Viet Truce Armbands" The Des Moines Register, 15 December 1965. Courtesy of National Archives