Blog of Rights

Mary Beth
Tinker
Standing Up for the Rights of Students to Free Expression

Standing Up for the Rights of Students to Free Expression

By Mary Beth Tinker at 11:39am
I have zero tolerance for schools that punish students for exercising their First Amendment rights. Students like Wesley Teague, who joked about his school's athletic department and Kyron Birdine, who was suspended for mocking standardized tests, did nothing more than exercise their right to freedom of expression. Free speech is a right that students need to understand, expect, and use responsibly. Because expressing yourself isn't always the popular thing to do, I'm going on a "Tinker Tour" to encourage students to know the First Amendment and to hear how they're using it in their lives.

What a Black Armband Means, Forty Years Later

By Mary Beth Tinker at 1:21pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Just before Christmas in 1965, a group of students in Des Moines, Iowa wore black armbands to school to mourn the dead in Vietnam. I was 13 and in eighth grade. The nightly TV news, with scenes of flaming…

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