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Celebrated Free-Speech Advocate Mary Beth Tinker at LIU Post Monday, Sept. 23

Her 1969 Supreme Court victory established freedom of speech in schools; sought-after speaker is a staunch anti-war activist


Morgan Lyle,Assistant Director of Public Relations
LIU Post, Long Island University

Mary Beth TinkerBrookville, N.Y. – When 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker defied the Des Moines, Iowa school board and wore a black anti-war armband to school in 1965, she unknowingly launched a court case that ended with freedom of speech in the classroom becoming the law of the land.

The American Civil Liberties Union accepted Tinker’s case and brought it to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled in 1969 that students and teachers had the right to free speech in schools. Ever since, Tinker has been a living symbol of free speech and a sought-after speaker on war and social issues.

Tinker will speak at LIU Post Monday, Sept. 23 at 9:30 a.m. in Hillwood Commons Cinema as part of Tinker Tour USA. Her appearance is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the LIU Post the Honors Program, the departments of Media Arts, Political Science, and Philosophy, and the Pioneer student newspaper.

“Almost 50 years ago, we made a difference with just an armband,” Tinker said. “Now students have so many other tools available.  We look forward to hearing real-life stories about how students are using these tools – and their voices – to keep the First Amendment alive and make a difference.”

Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent Community School District has been cited more than 6,000 times in free speech cases.

The Tinker Tour kicked off on Constitution Day, Tuesday Sept. 17, at Independence Mall in Philadelphia and will include stops at libraries, universities and schools – including Tinker’s junior high school in Des Moines – in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

More information about the Tinker Tour can be found at

Posted 09/20/2013

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