Law and Ethics 6. Tinker v. Des Moines is a Supreme Court case involving a protest against the Vietnam War by high school students. What issues related to this case continued to dictate school board policy? Why can’t school systems simply proclaim interference with the purpose of the school as an excuse to better control dress and speech?…
As per the court ruling, students do not lose their constitutional rights of expression or freedom of speech while entering into the school. The First Amendment Rights of Students are violated when they are suspended from the schools for non-disruptive activities such as wearing armbands. The key point is that substantial or material disruption of school activities must be proved or invasion of the rights of other fellow students must be established before putting a restriction on their activities. This basic ruling became the guiding principle for schools to take any action against the students. Simply speaking, school system cannot proclaim interference with the purpose of the school just to control speech or dress of the students as in all likely hood it would form a violation of the First Amendment principle. The Tinker case is ambiguous in the sense that it is difficult for schools to find out when the dress becomes disruptive. Again, it could be difficult for the school to find who is causing the disruption – the one who is wearing the offensive dress or the one who gets offended. Many schools have the policy of prohibiting the visible display of the Confederate flag because it may cause the disruption in the school activities; however, many cite the judgment of the Tinker case and want them to wear the Confederate flag. School systems need to take their stand based on the situation that whether the Confederate wearing is racially charged to cause disruptions then the school officials have the full right to disallow or ban such wearing. 7. Compare and contrast the criteria required for police officers and public school personnel for searching a student. “The Bigger the need, the more intrusive the search.” What does this mean? Please incorporate examples when defining “bigger” and “intrusive”. What role do parents play in a search of their child or their child’s possessions at school? Answer School officers can search a student when they have a reasonable cause though the Fourth Amendment does enforce protection to the citizens for unreasonable searches. The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution comes to the rescue of students and protects their privacy rights at school; however, it does not mean that they cannot be searched. Again, it is necessary for a police officer to have a reasonable cause to conduct a student search; however, students do not have the same level of protection from searches while in the school. In the circumstances when school officials suspect the student in possession of a gun, they can conduct an intrusive student search. “The bigger the need, the more intrusive the search” should be seen in this perspective. When safety of the other students or entire school is at risk, school officials have all right to conduct intrusive student search to recover the weapon from the student. In matters of smoking and similar matters, an intrusive search is not necessary. For any intrusive search, it is required that it is done by some higher level official of the school; however, that will take into account the factors such as gender, age of the student, the item being searched, the urgency of the matter, and availability of the official while conducting a search. Intrusive searches can be done after taking the approval of school superintendent by the same gender person, and in the presence of adult ...
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