United States Supreme Court
TINKER v. DES MOINES SCHOOL DIST., (1969)
Argued: November 12, 1968 Decided: February 24, 1969
TINKER v. DES MOINES
JOHN F. TINKER and MARY BETH TINKER, minors, by their father and next friend, LEONARD TINKER and CHRISTOPHER ECKHARDT, minor, by his father and next friend, WILLIAM ECKHARDT,Petitioners, v. THE DES MOINES INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
[quotations from majority opinion:]
"First Amendment rights, applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment, are available to teachers and students. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. This has been the unmistakable holding of this Court for almost 50 years. ..."
“In order for the State in the person of school officials to justify prohibition of a particular expression of opinion,” Justice Abe Fortas wrote in the 7-2 ruling, “it must be able to show that its action was caused by something more than a mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint.”