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Grayned v. City of Rockford


Although the Court upheld the antinoise ordinance, it gave a ringing endorsement to the right of access to "a public forum," affirming that citizens have a broad right to freely express their political views in a variety of public places.

On 25 April 1969, some 200 people gathered outside of West Senior High School in Rockford, Illinois. This group had been trying to change things at West Senior High for some time. They had made formal proposals to the school board, but they had been turned down. Now they were staging a demonstration. The picket signs they carried told what their demands were: "Black cheerleaders to cheer too," "Black history with black teachers," "Equal rights, Negro counselors."

Most of the demonstrators were African American students who had been advised by a faculty member to choose this way of fighting for their rights. They were also joined by former students, family members, and other concerned citizens. Everyone had been told that they must walk quietly, hand in hand, no whispering, no talking. They gathered on a sidewalk about 100 feet from the school building, and began to march.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972Grayned v. City of Rockford - Significance, Who Made The Noise?, Broad Laws And Specific Restrictions, The Lone Dissenter, Related Cases