Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Dilara Üsküp

Reader 2

Rebecca Hatkoff

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Rights Information

© 2018 Hannah Weissler


In this study, I examine the extent to which students’ rights to free speech and expression were violated in response to the nationwide school walkouts that took place during the spring of 2018. Students hold the right to political speech and expression under the landmark Supreme Court Case, Tinker v. Des Moines (1969). However, the rights students maintain to participate in protest during school hours is somewhat unclear. Using a two-pronged case study analysis, I explore the question of student rights and potential violations in the face of protest through examining school disciplinary responses alongside disciplinary policy and disciplinary policy in the context of Tinker. Findings highlight a widespread gap in school and district-level policy specific to protest or other types of political expression and the need for such policy when protecting the rights students hold under Tinker.