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Free speech activist Mary Beth Tinker speaks Feb. 19

9 February 2018, Comments: Comments Off on Free speech activist Mary Beth Tinker speaks Feb. 19

A plaintiff in a landmark free speech case will speak at Missouri Western State University at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19 in the Kemper Recital Hall, Spratt Hall room 101. “Freedom of Speech in Public Schools and Colleges,” a presentation by Mary Beth Tinker, is free and open to the public.

In 1965, Tinker was a junior high student in Des Moines, Iowa, who was suspended when she and some classmates wore black armbands to protest the Vietnam War. Four years later, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in “Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent School District” that the armbands were constitutionally protected symbolic speech. The case continues to set standards for free speech issues in schools and colleges.

Tinker is a retired pediatric nurse who frequently speaks to students across the country about their rights. In 2000, the Marshall-Brennan Project at Washington College of Law at American University named its annual youth advocacy award after her. In 2006, the ACLU National Board of Directors’ Youth Affairs Committee renamed its annual award the “Mary Beth Tinker Youth Involvement Award.”

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit

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