Free speech; Mary Beth Tinker
Mary Beth Tinker is a nurse and a life-long activist. She divides her time between living and working in Washington D.C. and her public speaking engagements all over the country, addressing primarily student audiences. Ms. Tinker was in the 8th grade when she and her brother decided to wear black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War. In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the landmark decision Tinker v Des Moines Independent Community School District, upholding the free speech rights of public school students. The Tinker case remains one of the most important cases ever decided pertaining to students and the first amendment.