D.M. Schools Ban Wearing Of Viet Truce Armbands
By Jack Magarrell
Des Moines school officials said Tuesday that highschool students
will not be permitted to wear black armbands at school in support of a
truce in Viet Nam.
A few students at Roosevelt High School were reported planning to wear the armbands Thursday.
Several groups of Iowa college students opposed to U.S. policy in Viet Nam have designated Thursday as a day of fasting and wearing black armbands to encourage U.S. acceptance of a Viet Cong offer of a 12-hour cease-fire on Christmas Eve.
Roosevelt Principal Charles Rowley refused to comment on the school's attitude toward the armbands.
E. Raymond Peterson, director of secondary education, met with high school principals Tuesday to assure a uniform policy.
Questioned about the policy, Peterson said, "For the good of the school system, we don't think this should be permitted."
"The schools are no place for demonstrations," Peterson said. "We allow for free discussion of these things in classes."
Peterson said the decision not to allow students to wear the black armbands was based on a general school policy against "anything that is a disturbing situation within the school."
School officials believe the educational program would be disturbed by the students wearing armbands, he said.
Peterson said the meeting with high school principals dealt with several other matters wiich school officials considered more important than a proposal by "eight or 10 students" to "get publicity" by wearing armbands.