Mary Beth Tinker grew up in Iowa, where her father was a Methodist minister. When she was in eighth grade in 1965, she and a group of students were suspended from school for wearing black armbands to school to mourn the Vietnam war dead.
A court challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union led to a landmark 1969 Supreme Court ruling in Tinker v Des Moines that neither teachers nor students “shed their constitutional rights… at the schoolhouse gate.”
After the Court victory, Mary Beth grew up to become a nurse, earning master’s degrees in both nursing and public health.
Speaking frequently throughout the country with students and teachers, Mary Beth is currently on a national “Tinker Tour” to promote civics education, the rights of students and youth voices.
Mary Beth lives in Washington D.C.
Tinker will speak at the 2014 First Amendment Symposium which will be held March 5 at the Indiana Statehouse. Click here for more information.
Check out Tinker’s article in the Huffington Post by clicking here.