Tinker - Washington

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Tinker - Washington - Batlu Chronicle ears Of Nfeu*: ·^··^ A«J D....
Batlu Chronicle ears Of Nfeu*: ·^··^ A«J D. .ui:_ c r_. 79 Years Of News W F n M F ^ A v , A M - 7 WEDNESDAY, JAN. 7, 1970 And Public Service , PUBLISHER, 1966-1968 JACK BRITTEN, PUBLISHER High School Youth And The Today's Inside Report column en ·his page stirs a concern that is becoming increasingly evident, even in our own state. The column report deals \yith facts showing that while the nation's college campuses seem to be cooling off, new violence-prone tendencies are appearing in our high schools. The question would have seemed ridiculous a decade ago, but it is very valid today. Just what citizen rights does a student have in high school? Can high school authorities forbid students f r o m distributing underground newspapers? Can students be stopped from forming political groups and meeting as such? Can a high school junior be ordered to shave his beard, which he seeks as a growth of symbolic expression? Can a school district order students to stop wearing black arm bands meant to'show opposition to the Vietnam War, or to wear lapel buttons espousing the causes of militant college student groups? The state of Washington has already come up with a landmark court case on youth freedom of expression. In 1965 two Des Moines, Wash high school students, John Tinker, 15, and his sister, Mary Beth, 13, met with other students and adults to plan a protest against involvement of the U.S. in the Vietnam-War. They decid, ed to wear black armbands to school. All principals of the school district decided that wearing of such armbands would not be permitted. The Tinker children refused to comply and were sent home. There then came what is .known as the "Tinker vs. Des Moines School District" case. It ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which said wearing of armbands -- providing they did not substantially interrupt the operations of schools -- "is the type of symbolic act that is within the free speech clause of the first amendment." The decision continued on to nole that neither students nor teachers "shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate." The decision added the so-called rights are not absolute. Students can wear armbands, but they cannot force or attempt to force other students to do the same. Students are still responsible for disruptions, but left in a murky thicket are the definitions of just how much authority and disci- plme school administrators do have. Currently, the office of State Attorney General Slade Gorton is seeking to work out statewide guidelines on student rights and guidelines to ed- vise school administrators on just what rights students now enjoy under recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The work of the attorney general's office is complicated. A new publication "Youth And The Law," is being published as a joint project. of the young lawyers' committee of the State Bar Association. \Vhat the bar association group is tackling is a plethora of high court decisions that have supported some of the symbolic acts that the Tinker decision has generally upheld as student rights. There is a decision, for instance, upholding the right of flag burning and if a student bums his draft card the charge is only not having one on his person or in his possession. If students publish political material not their own, and libel and slander are involved, who is responsible? Who decides what is obscene and what words are likely to incite violence? It is satisfying to note that if documentation of growing high school student unrest is correct, intelligent attention should be given to what the future may bring. Unfortunately, it would appear we have just reached the starting point for complete definition of the rights of students in our public schools. Our this face It as sizable are minds. O number sot volume

Clipped from
  1. The Daily Chronicle,
  2. 07 Jan 1970, Wed,
  3. Page 6

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