West Virginia V Barnette

1652 Words7 Pages
In every democratic form of government such as the United States, there are always disputes and disagreements between the decisions of government and the rights of individuals especially in schools. Students attend school to become well-educated young adults. The main objective of school teachers and staff is to make sure that each student is receiving the maximum amount of learning to prepare them for future endeavors. Schools must educate students for true citizenship and what it means to live in a democracy. When school is in session, school officials have control over students and their behavior. However, the power of public school officials over students is not supreme. Public schools are under the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment which gives citizens protection of their individual liberties from governmental interference. Public school officials must obey the demands of the Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled in the 1943 case West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that school officials violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments when they punished students and their parents for the students’ refusal to salute to the American flag. During the 1940s, the United States Supreme Court discussed two cases in which the majority disputed with the rights of individuals. In the first case, Minersville School District v. Gobitis, the court ruled that all students had to recite the Pledge of Allegiance while saluting the flag in the classroom. However, the Supreme Court faced the same issue three years later in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette and was against a state school order that public school students must participate in a patriotic ceremony. The issues of the Barnette case stemmed from the decision of the Minersville School District v. Gobitis case. Lillian and William Gobitas came home from school
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