Armbands In Vietnam Essay

1414 Words 6 Pages
In 1954, the United States felt the need to partake in the battle against communism, against Ho Chi Minh, and for a unified democratic Vietnam. They did so by supporting the South Vietnamese Coup through monetary aid. In the following years, the need for supplies increased and in March 1965 the first troops were deployed in Vietnam. This escalation of aid caused anguish and pain to many American families whose sons were being drafted into an unreasonable war in a foreign country. In December 1965, a 30 hour ceasefire was proposed by Robert Kennedy, and students around the country decided to wear black armbands in solidarity with those who lost their lives on both the American side and the Vietnamese sides (Patti 466). On December 16 and 17, …show more content…
It is important to note that the school board met on Dec. 14, to discuss the possibility of students wearing armbands at school. This meeting occurred two days before the Tinker children and Eckhardt wore their black armbands to school. The school board believed that since the students were wearing the armbands, in clear defiance of the recent addition to the dress code, many students would redirect their focus from their lessons and focus on the controversies surrounding the Vietnam War. This view believes that the students should follow the rules placed by the administration despite of the students’ rights and personal beliefs. This view reinforces the discipline on students by the administration.
The majority opinion was written by Justice Abe Fortas. In the written opinion Fortas writes, “The wearing of an armband for the purpose of expressing certain views is the type of symbolic act that is within the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment,” (Cornell Law School). This law case discusses the limit and extent of the First Amendment when applied to school students. Although a black armband is not inherently speech, it is a symbol of free speech and of a political

Related Documents