Student Rights in the 20th Century: Tinker v. Des Moines, an Article & Podcast

Today’s post comes from Kimberlee Ried, public affairs specialist at the National Archives at Kansas City and co-editor of “Teaching with Documents” for Social Education.

Resources are abundant on the topic of civil rights in the National Archives catalog and on DocsTeach, the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives. However, we often find that educators and students are looking for additional ideas or want to explore deeper records related to all types of rights – and the issues that brought them to fruition.

I recently wrote an article about the precedent case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District that highlighted the efforts made by several students in Des Moines in 1965 to peacefully protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War by wearing black arm bands to school. Upholding Student Rights in the 20th Century: An Examination of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District is available in the “Teaching with Documents” section of the March/April 2018 issue of the journal Social Education.

The article is based on the U.S. District Court case filed in Des Moines, Iowa. Eventually the case, with the help of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union (part of the ACLU), worked its way through the court system. It was heard by the Supreme Court in November 1968 and became a precedent case when the ruling around first amendment freedoms/protections favored the plaintiffs (the Tinkers and other students who wore black arm bands to school).

A follow-up to the article now includes a Visions of Education podcast (episode 89), hosted by Dan Krutka and Michael Milton, through the University of North Texas. It delves deeper into some of the documents from the U.S. District Court case, as well as the process by which educators and students can further research student rights cases like Tinker v. Des Moines.

 

Access selected documents from Tinker v. Des Moines on DocsTeach:

Protest Plans for Des Moines Students
Flyer with Protest Plans for Des Moines Students
Newspaper Article
Des Moines Register Article “D.M. Schools Ban Wearing of Viet Truce Armbands”
Des Moines Public Schools Memo about the Banning of Armbands
Des Moines Public Schools Memo about the Banning of Armbands
Testimony of John Tinker from the Court of Appeals
Testimony of John Tinker from the Court of Appeals

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