First Amendment and civics icon to speak at Green River Community College

Mary Beth Tinker - Courtesy photo
Mary Beth Tinker
— image credit: Courtesy photo

For the Reporter

Noted First Amendment and civics education champion Mary Beth Tinker speaks Wednesday. April 30 at Green River Community College.

Tinker's speech begins at noon in the Bleha Performing Arts Center auditorium, 12401 SE 320th St., Auburn. The panel discussion follows at 1 p.m. in Salish Hall, Room 110.

The event is free and open to the public.

Tinker is best known for the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, in which she was disciplined for wearing a black armband to school to protest the Vietnam War. Her case established that students and teachers do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate." It remains the starting point for analyzing student First Amendment controversies today.

Tinker will speak about her experience, the case and the importance of youth voices. The presentation will be followed by an informal discussion of the First Amendment on campus, with Tinker and attorney Mike Hiestand of the Student Press Law Center.

The talk is part of a nationwide Tinker Tour, designed to raise civic awareness among students. The Green River presentation is sponsored by "The Current" student newspaper.

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