Mary Beth Tinker Visits City High

Mary Beth Tinker, who made national headlines for taking her issue of free speech in schools to the United States Supreme Court, spoke with students about their First Amendment rights and the history of her case.

Jonathan House, Sports Editor

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  • Mary Beth Tinker speaks to City High students on the importance of the First Amendment.

  • Tinker addresses the audience.

  • Mary Beth Tinker holds up her black armband.

Mary Beth Tinker, who made headlines in 1969 when she took the case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District to the Supreme Court, visited City High on May 5th to speak with students about the history of her case and the importance of the First Amendment.

In 1969, Tinker, along with her brother, wore black armbands to protest the Vietnam War. After the school told her and other students to remove them, they sued, claiming that their First Amendment right to free speech had been violated. She won after the Supreme Court ruled that students had First Amendment Rights in schools.

Today, Tinker travels the country speaking to students and the general public about the importance of exercising their First Amendment rights and telling the story of her case. She also later spoke at the Iowa City Public Library, where she spoke more on how she has educated students on their rights and their stories of what they are doing to stand up for what they believe in.

“[My favorite part about touring the country and speaking is] hearing the things that kids are standing up and speaking up about, and hearing how kids are using their First Amendment today to make a better world in so many different ways and so many kids are,” Tinker said.