Do you use document-based questions in your classroom? Have you ever blogged a DBQ?

This summer the Bill of Rights Institute is blogging a document-based question on the Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines (1969). Each weekly post will feature an excerpted document related to the case, along with some questions to guide your thinking on it. Each document should be used to address the question: “Evaluate the extent to which the First Amendment should protect symbolic speech, and the degree to which that protection should be guaranteed to students in public school.”

Check out last week’s post for a case background and document #1.

Today’s document – Number 2:

West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette (1943)

Symbolism is a primitive but effective way of communicating ideas. The use of an emblem of flag to symbolize some system, idea, institution, or personality, is a short cut from mind to mind. Causes and nations, political parties, lodges and ecclesiastical groups seek to knit the loyalty of their followings to a flag or banner, a color or design. The State announces rank, function, and authority through crowns and maces, uniforms and black robes; the church speaks through the Cross, the Crucifix, the altar and shrine…A person gets from a symbol the meaning he puts into it, and what is one man’s comfort and inspiration is another’s jest and scorn.

Think about it:

How does this document define symbolism? Does this case excerpt change your opinion about the key question: “Evaluate the extent to which the First Amendment should protect symbolic speech, and the degree to which that protection should be guaranteed to students in public school.”

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Check back each week to see the next document and how it might change your thinking on this important question that affects all public school teachers and students in the U.S.!

Posted in A More Perfect Blog


11 Responses to “Tinker v. Des Moines DBQ – Document 2”

  1. [...] out our previous posts for a case background and document #1, document #2, West Virginia v. Barnette, document #3, a picture of Vietnam War protestors outside the White [...]

  2. [...] out our previous posts for a case background and document #1, document #2, West Virginia v. Barnette, document #3, a picture of Vietnam War protestors outside the White [...]

  3. [...] out our previous posts for a case background and document #1, document #2, West Virginia v. Barnette, document #3, a picture of Vietnam War protestors outside the White [...]

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  5. [...] out our previous posts for a case background and document #1, document #2, West Virginia v. Barnette, document #3, a picture of Vietnam War protestors outside the White [...]

  6. [...] out our previous posts for a case background and document #1, document #2, West Virginia v. Barnette, document #3, a picture of Vietnam War protestors outside the White [...]

  7. [...] out our previous posts for a case background and document #1, document #2, West Virginia v. Barnette, document #3, a picture of Vietnam War protestors outside the White [...]

  8. [...] out our previous posts for a case background and document #1, document #2, West Virginia v. Barnette, document #3, a picture of Vietnam War protestors outside the White [...]

  9. [...] out our previous posts for a case background and document #1, document #2, West Virginia v. Barnette, and document #3, a picture of Vietnam War protestors outside the White [...]

  10. [...] out our previous posts for a case background and document #1 and document #2, West Virginia v. [...]

  11. [...] out our previous posts for a case background and document #1, document #2, West Virginia v. Barnette, document #3, a picture of Vietnam War protestors outside the White [...]

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