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 First Amendment activist Mary Beth Tinker

Mary Beth Tinker was a plaintiff in the case Tinker v. Des Moines which resulted in a 1969 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the plaintiffs favor.


By 1965, about 170,000 U.S. soldiers were stationed in Vietnam. Graphic footage of the war was carried into households everyday in this first “televised” war. As a 13-year-old student in eighth grade, Mary Beth was strongly affected by news of the war. She and her brothers and sisters, along with other students in Des Moines, decided to wear black armbands to school to mourn the dead on both sides of the Vietnam War. The armbands were also in support of a Christmas truce called by Senator Bobby Kennedy that year. The Des Moines school board tried to block the students from wearing the armbands, and most of the students who wore them were suspended.


The case eventually went to the Supreme Court, which ruled in a landmark decision in 1969 that students in public schools do have First Amendment rights. Justice Abe Fortas wrote in the majority opinion that students and teachers do not “shed their constitutional rights…at the schoolhouse gate.”


Mary Beth continues to educate young people about their rights, speaking frequently to students groups across the country. An advocate for the rights of youth, particularly in the areas of health and education, she is a pediatric nurse who is active in her union and holds masters degrees in both public health and nursing. In 2000, the Marshall-Brennan Project at Washington College of Law at American University named it’s annual youth advocacy award after Mary Beth. In 2006, as a tribute to Tinker’s devotion to the rights of young people, the ACLU National Board of Directors’ Youth Affairs Committee renamed its annual youth affairs award the "Mary Beth Tinker Youth Involvement Award."



[note: Schema-Root.org is a project of Mary Beth's brother, John Tinker, who was also a plaintiff in Tinker v. Des Moines.]

Mary Beth Tinker
Mary Beth Tinker
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The 1969 case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community school District involved the wearing of black armbands as a form of symbolic speech showing displeasure with the Vietnam War. Mary Beth Tinker, her brother John and another student wore armbands, got suspended from school, sued and ...
On Thursday, nearly 50 years after Mary Beth Tinker wore a black armband to her Iowa school to protest the Vietnam War -- and was suspended -- she appeared at a mock trial reenacting her case before students from the Washington area. In the past year, students in the area have walked out of class to ...
Activist and speaker Mary Beth Tinker was met with a round of roaring applause as she stood before a room full of Ithaca College students and community members Sept. 19. She tightly clutched a pocket-sized Constitution to her chest. "The Constitution -- small, but powerful," she said, drawing silence.
At the age of 13, Mary Beth Tinker fought a challenge to free speech that would eventually make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. More than five decades later, she is still fighting for free speech. Tinker will give a presentation at Ithaca College on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. in Textor 102. Titled "Mighty ...

Censorious students slapped down by First Amendment legend Mary Beth Tinker ... about his op-ed is Zimmerman's description of his students recently meeting a woman whose name is a major Supreme Court precedent, Mary Beth Tinker. ... I met Mary Beth Tinker today after teaching the Tinker v.
Enter Mary Beth Tinker, a 13-year-old student at Warren Harding Junior high school in Des Moines, Iowa. Her story is recounted with care in Peter Irons' The Courage of Their Convictions: Sixteen Americans Who Fought Their Way to the Supreme Court, the primary source for this discussion. On December ...
Mary Beth Tinker speaks to a group of students at Prairie high school in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Tinker was at the center of a landmark freedom of speech case decided by the Supreme Court in 1969, Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent Community school District, which held that Tinker ...
Tinker was 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker, one of five students who in 1965 were suspended for wearing black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War. Four years later the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 7-to-2 vote for Tinker, affirming the principle that schoolchildren do not "shed their constitutional ...
John Tinker and Christopher Eckhardt were high school students; Mary Beth Tinker an eighth-grader. Upon hearing about their plan to wear ...
"Nobody gets to decide how we express our patriotism," student speech activist Mary Beth Tinker told The 74 on Friday. "Nobody gets to force ...
Mary Beth Tinker of the landmark Tinker vs. Des Moines Supreme Court case was invited up onstage by LoMonte and encouraged students to ...
Allison Beth Krause, 19 years old, and Mary Beth Tinker, who was only 13, were each opposed to the Vietnam War; they expressed it differently ...
Mary Beth Tinker, an advocate for youth rights and the freedom of speech, spoke to the Ithaca College community about her past experiences ...
In addition to this, she also speaks with Mary Beth Tinker.Tinker had her own battle with censorship when she and several other students were ...
At the age of 13, Mary Beth Tinker fought a challenge to free speech that would eventually make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. More than ...

I met Mary Beth Tinker today after teaching the Tinker v. Des Moines case for over 10 years! I'm inviting her to speak @DunbarHSDC.
... * Editor's Note: The Tinker case is featured in the National Constitution Center's 2017 Civic calendar, which you can download here.
Mary Beth Tinker, one of the plaintiffs in the landmark case Tinker v. Des Moines, holds up a replica armband that she and her brother wore to ...
It's been more than 50 years since Mary Beth Tinker was suspeneded for wearing a black arm band to school in protest of the Vietnam War, ...
Mary Beth Tinker speaks to a group of students at Prairie high school in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Tinker was at the center of ...
In 1965, 16-year-old Christopher Eckhardt, 16-year-old John F. Tinker, 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker, 11-year-old Hope Tinker, 8-year-old Paul ...
In Washington, D.C., the two met Mary Beth Tinker, a woman responsible for paving the way for student free speech in schools. As a student ...
The students, Mary Beth Tinker and Christopher Eckhardt, had been sent home from school for their actions. The court's decision made it clear ...
The students, Mary Beth Tinker and Christopher Eckhardt, had been sent home from school for their actions. The court's decision made it clear ...
I met Mary Beth Tinker today after teaching the Tinker v. Des Moines case for over 10 years! I'm inviting her to speak @DunbarHSDC.
My students and I recently met with Mary Beth Tinker, who was 13 years old when she was suspended by her school in Des Moines, Iowa, ...
... * Editor's Note: The Tinker case is featured in the National Constitution Center's 2017 Civic calendar, which you can download here.
Mary Beth Tinker, one of the plaintiffs in the landmark case Tinker v. Des Moines, holds up a replica armband that she and her brother wore to ...
It's been more than 50 years since Mary Beth Tinker was suspeneded for wearing a black arm band to school in protest of the Vietnam War, ...
Mary Beth Tinker speaks to a group of students at Prairie high school in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Tinker was at the center of ...
In 1965, at 13 years old, free speech activist Mary Beth Tinker chose to wear a black armband to school in support of a truce in the Vietnam War ...
Sally Bisson-Best, associate professor and Director of Legal Studies at CSM, says the college invited Mary Beth Tinker to speak at the two events.
Mary Beth Tinker spoke in the auditorium during fifth and sixth lunches on Feb. 22. She was invited to speak to by OneBlair, a student run activist group, about her famous free speech case, Tinker v. Des Moines and what it means to her to be able to ...
The suit was brought by the ACLU of Iowa on behalf of three Des Moines students who had been sent home from school for wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam War and refusing to remove them.
Mary Beth Tinker wore a wrist band in protest of the Vietnam War, and was suspended from school. "In their verdict, the court vindicated Tinker by saying students do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the ...
In this regard, consider Tinker vs Demoines: The case of Mary Beth Tinker, a 13-year old who was suspended from school in 1965 for wearing a black arm-band in class to protest the war in Vietnam, where school officials claimed that her action "upset ...
"That's always been the question when it comes to the First Amendment, even for adult speech: Where is the limit?" said activist Mary Beth Tinker, whose own First Amendment case led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling on free-speech protections for K-12 ...
students from The Bear Truth also attended an annual convention by the Colorado Student Media Association, where they received a black peace armband signed by Mary Beth Tinker of Tinker vs. Des Moines, a 1965 free speech case in which students ...
For those of you who weren't paying attention in class, Mary Beth Tinker and friends wore black armbands to school in protest of the Vietnam War.
The planned panelists are Mary Beth Tinker, lead plaintiff in Tinker v. Des Moines; Scott Warren, Chief Executive Officer of Generation citizen; and Dr.
Mary Beth Tinker talks about students' speech rights and the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community school District that went to the U.S.
His view didn't win him many friends at school as Vietnam was heating up and other students' family members were going off to Southeast Asia.
There was a keynote address by Mary Beth Tinker, a famous civil rights activist who was the petitioner in the landmark Supreme Court decision, Tinker v. Des Moines School District, which defined students' rights in public schools.
RISE will feature a keynote address from Mary Beth Tinker, American free speech activist known from the famous 1969 Tinker vs.
Case law protecting this kind of speech can be traced to the Vietnam War, when a 13-year-old student named Mary Beth Tinker and a couple friends war black armbands to school protesting the war. They were sent home and a lawsuit was filed. Her case ...
students from Lake Havasu high school may travel to Indianapolis this November, pending approval from the school district at Tuesday's regular school board meeting.
Becky Koger stands on the front lawn of the White House during a tour while participating in the White House History teacher Institute.
Mary Beth Tinker was a 13-year-old student who was suspended from school in 1965 for wearing a black armband in class to protest the war in Vietnam.


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