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Mary Beth Tinker Is Coming to Campus

One of the biggest names in freedom of speech, Mary Beth Tinker, is coming to campus to give a presentation about student symbolic speech rights.

Tinker is known for the influential Tinker v. Des Moines case which settled the case for symbolic speech in institutions in the United States. During the Vietnam War, Tinker and a group of students protested the war in their high school by wearing black armbands which resulted in the students being sent home and being asked to not wear the bands in the future. Tinker and the group persisted in their protest, famously saying students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.

Since that fateful day in 1965, Tinker has been speaking to colleges across the country informing students of their rights. Communication and Journalism Professor Robert Bergland met Tinker at a conference and asked if she would talk to Missouri Western students.

“Obviously first amendment issues and free speech on campus have been in the news the last year or two, so I thought it would be a great topic to have at Missouri Western,” Bergland said.

The Communication and Journalism department, The Griffon News, The EPSS Department and Education Department sponsored the event. The presentation is open to all departments on campus as well as the public because of the topic’s relevancy.

“Her case set the example for the freedom of expression. It’s the standard used in college publications as well,” Bergland said.

Tinker’s presentation will be at 7:00 p.m. on Monday in Spratt 101.


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