The authors of this volume provide discussion on vital issues related to the rights of children in the United States, including: the historical and contextual perspective on the rights of children; the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child; the differing views on children's rights and competencies; and the rights of children within the family, the social service system, the health care system, the educational system, the juvenile justice system and in employment.
Chapter 1: Children are Persons … or are They?: An Introduction to the Issues
Children are Persons … or are They?: An Introduction to the Issues
Children have rights only if adults allow them.
Are children considered to be “persons” in the United States? The answer to that question depends on which court opinions one reads. Consider the following cases.
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969)
On December 16, 1965, when 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker arrived at her junior high school in Des Moines, Iowa, she was wearing a black armband. So was a friend, and so too—on the next day—was her 15-year-old brother, John. They and their parents were expressing their deep opposition to the war in Vietnam. Theirs was a silent protest; in no ...