Free speech advocate speaks at Kent State

Katherine Schaeffer

Mary Beth Tinker, lead plaintiff in a 1969 Supreme Court case which resulted in a decision on students’ free speech rights, will speak in the Student Center Ballroom at 9 a.m. Tuesday as part of a nationwide tour.

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District resulted when Tinker and two of her classmates were suspended for wearing black armbands to mourn the soldiers lost in the Vietnam War. The landmark case upheld students’ and teachers’ rights to nondisruptive protest in a public school.

The Tinker ruling’s influence is still felt today, with more than 6,000 citations in student cases.

Tinker will discuss the significance of the court’s decision as well as her personal story.

The event, which is part of the Ohio Scholastic Media Association Regional Workshop, is free and open to the public.

Tinker will visit high schools and colleges in 19 states during the course of the tour.