Free speech activist Mary Beth Tinker will visit the Newhouse School Oct. 2

By Wendy S. Loughlin

September 15, 2015

Mary Beth Tinker, whose decision to wear an armband to school in 1965 led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling upholding students’ free speech rights, will visit the Newhouse School at Syracuse University on Friday, Oct. 2 as a guest of the Tully Center for Free Speech. She will present “You Can’t Say That! Celebrating the First Amendment and Banned Books Week” at 11 a.m. in 101 Newhouse 1.

Tinker was a 13-year-old junior high school student when she and other students wore black armbands to school in protest of the Vietnam War. After being suspended, they sued the school district on First Amendment grounds. Their case eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which issued a landmark opinion in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), ruling that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

“Mary Beth is a dynamic speaker and a life-long advocate for student speech rights,” says Roy Gutterman, professor and director of the Tully Center. “She has dedicated her life to standing up for free speech rights for students and citizens. It is amazing to talk with her and hear about her fight for free speech and her Supreme Court case.”

For more information about the event, contact Gutterman at (315) 443-3523 or