Thursday April 5, 2007

Freedom Talks

The subject of a Supreme Court case on free speech in schools will speak April 19 at the School of Law.

Mary Beth Tinker and her Vietnam War-era U.S. Supreme Court case about free speech in schools have returned to the spotlight because of Joseph Frederick's Supreme Court date regarding his "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" sign.

In 1965, the Des Moines School District suspended Tinker and classmates for wearing black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War. In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Tinker saying, "it can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

The Court will determine this summer whether the Juneau-Douglas, Alaska, school system rightfully suspended Frederick for his sign. Tinker will discuss how she navigated America's judicial system at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 19, in the University of Dayton School of Law's Keller Hall room 103.

Tinker's "Freedom Talks" discussion is free and open to the public. The Ohio American Civil Liberties Union and the UD School of Law will sponsor Tinker's appearance.

Tinker grew up in Iowa in a Quaker family and was active in civil rights and peace activities during the 1960s as an extension of their faith, according to her bio.

She currently lives in Missouri where she continues to be an advocate for children's rights and social justice. Tinker travels the country talking about being engaged in civic life and speaking up on issues.

For interviews, contact Shawn Robinson at 937-229-3391.