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"The Black Armband Case" Essay from The Goldfinch, February 1987

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Courtesy of State Historical Society of Iowa, "The Black Armband Case," The Goldfinch, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 17-18, February 1987


In the 1960s, some Des Moines students tested the U.S. Constitution's definition of freedom of speech. A few students wore black armbands to school to support a truce (period of peace) in the Vietnam War (1965-73). Black armbands are a symbol of sadness that are sometimes worn to protest some action.

Transcript of "The Black Armband Case" Essay from The Goldfinch

Source-Dependent Questions

  • Connect this article with the Des Moines Register article. What reasons did the U.S. Supreme Court give for and against students' rights to wear armbands?
  • Read this quote, "Tinker versus Des Moines was and is... the most important student First Amendment decision in history." What evidence from the text supports this quote?