Am I protected by the first amendment if I wear something in protest to the war? 37 Answers as of June 26, 2013

If I wear a bandanna around my arm to school in protest to bring our troops home, am I defended by the first amendment?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
Speech depends on the time, place, and manner. The First Amendment only protects a person's rights to public speech in a public place. The First Amendment is not an absolute right. The government still has the legal authority to regulate that right within the applicable limits as determined by state and federal case law.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/12/2011
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
Did the bandanna say anything vulgar, profane, or inciting? Teachers nor children do not shed their rights at the schoolhouse doors. As long as the conduct is not causing some sort of disruption to the educational process, it should be permitted.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/28/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
This is the very issue raised in the 1960's in the seminal case of Tinker v. Des Moins. You may want to google the case and read it as I am certain it will raise a few questions in your mind, but answer many more and do so more thoroughly than any answer I could provide here.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/26/2011
Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
To some degree yes but the school does legally have the right to limit speech in order to maintain safety... It's a tough issue to give a clear answer on and many cases have been argued in the courts over recent years on exactly this type of situation...
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/26/2011
Law Offices of Sean Logue
Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
That is a complicated question.You do have protections, but the school may ban certain types of clothing to ensure a good enviroment.You should get in contact w/ your local ACLU.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Yeah, sorta. If wearing the bandana is likely to cause some disturbance from other classmates because of a sensitive nature of the protest you could be asked to remove it to maintain public safety. Otherwise, you should be allowed to wear it. Please note that if it violates school policy to wear same, as it is not in compliance with uniform standards, you may be forbidden to wear it.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Yes, of course. This may not stop the school from enforcing its own dress code, however. It only protects you against governmental action.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    You are probably safe but Supreme Court is wishy-washy on SCHOOL protests.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/26/2011
    Burdon and Merlitti
    Burdon and Merlitti | Adam Van Ho
    As a general rule, wearing an armband to protest the war would be considered protected speech. The exception might be if your school had a uniform policy which dictates what you can or can not wear. If that is the case, my suggestion would be to talk to your principal and get his/her input on your wearing the arm band. If he/she says no, then you and your parents might want to contact an attorney or an organization such as the ACLU.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 9/23/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    I am not a First Amendment specialist but the answer is both yes and no. The First protects students to some degree but the law allows the school to limit it in a number of respects. You might want to direct your questions to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/23/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    There are limits to first amendment protection and the ability of the school to proscribe a dress code may be such a limit.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/23/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    This is a question for a constitutional lawyer, but I would venture to guess that you could wear this bandana, as it is non-violent protesting of the wars the US is involved in in the Middle East, protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/23/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    The First Amendment protects speech. Speech can take on many forms but schools have the right to enforce dress codes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/23/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Somewhat. Schools are afforded latitude in dress codes for students in order to maintain order and discipline. I am not a First Amendment expert but my gut is telling me that if there is no strict dress code in your school to protect then your expression by wearing a bandana should be protected.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/23/2011
    D T Pham Associates, PLLC
    D T Pham Associates, PLLC | Duncan T Pham
    Only if it's made clear somehow that your bandanna is an expression of your speech and not simply going against school regulations.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/23/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You are protected in the street, but not if your school, job, or private company has rules about how you can dress or act. I doubt that you would be arrested for an arm banner but you might get in trouble in school. You are better of getting your class to write to the idiot politicians who are supporting two wars that cost us trillions of dollars and thousands of lives and have not made our country any safer. Write the president, senators, and congressmen and start a website to get others to write letters demanding that the wars end and our men and women come home. tell them we cannot be the world police at the cost of our economy and world image as a great power that acts responsibly. George W. Bush let the generals and advisers talk him into a war that bankrupted our country and got us absolutely nothing in return. The new leaders of those countries will be just as bad and we will not fight terrorism with wars, we should have hunted them down and killed them, one by one, but he was not smart enough to see that. Get involved, but an arm banner is not going to change anything and may get you into trouble. Peace Out.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/23/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Unless your actions violate a specific ordinance or statute, you should be able to wear an armband.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/23/2011
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    As long as you do not violate any public nudity laws or anything with offensive language that could cause a riot, you should be fine.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Generally you would because it is political speech. As long as it's not disruptive or offensive, the school shouldn't bother you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    As you no doubt are aware, the First Amendment protects freedom of expression. However, constitutional rights are always subject to a balancing test. For example, you have the right to free speech but not the right to incite a riot. You have the right to freedom of movement for travel but we still have traffic laws.Most schools have dress policies. If the school you attend is private, you may have less rights than a public school student because you choose to attend the private school and they have certain rules in exchange.In public and private schools, dress codes have been litigated on occasion. A student breaks the dress code by making a statement. He gets disciplined or suspended, he has a right to a hearing, and the First Amendment may get brought up in the hearing. Student may lose the hearing, and then it is a matter of student suing the school district in court. So of course you have a right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment but if you break the school dress code, there may be consequences.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Yes you should be, but the school also has right to protect its students from things that can be perceived as promoting gang culture etc. Therefore, your free speech right will weighed against that interest of the school.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    That is a difficult question. Technically under the Constitution, you generally have the freedom to wear what you choose. However, for public safety reasons, or other reasons, many schools enact dress codes or enforce restrictions to prevent violence or other problems. Most of those restrictions have generally been upheld on challenge in the court, unless you can demonstrate discrimination or some sort of harm suffered. If you wish to inquire more about the issue, you should contact the local branch of the ACLU.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    The issue you describe was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case called Tinker v Des Moines Independent Community School District 393 U.S. 503 (1969) in favor of First Amendment protections for students wearing anti-war clothing. This was decided during the Vietnam War. It was held to be an improper prior restraint on speech.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, but this is a gray area and similar cases (i.e. a high school student wearing an anti-Bush t-shirt to school) have recently been litigated at the US Supreme Court. In other words, don't expect the school authorities to know what to do. Their approach is often "Restrict first, ask questions later."
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    Yes, but the school officials can still through you out or suspend you if you are not in compliance with the school rules.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC | Jeffery A. Cojocar
    No, not in a school.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    College yes but schools where there is a dress code the answer is probably no.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Yep. The US Supreme Court decided exactly that question during the Vietnam era, in Tinker v. Des Moines School District.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    School is different and can have their own rules. You can wear your bandana in public, but not necessarily at school.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    The Law Office of James McKain
    The Law Office of James McKain | James McKain
    Yes and no, court have held that students are protected by the first amendment, but that protection is reduced while in certain setting as when inside a high school or while attending a school event for instance. For further reading and guidance one might Google "bong hits for Jesus".
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/22/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    You don't say whether or not you are in a public or private school. If the school is private, the school can dictate what you can and cannot wear. If it is a public school, the school may still be able to regulate what you wear if it is deemed that your wearing apparel and colors are gang related. The bottom line test is whether or not the public welfare is impacted. To give you an example: You cannot yell "fire" in a crowded theater. I would need to know more before I can effectively answer your question.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/22/2011
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