Free speech experts come to Athens as part of "Tinker Tour"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Writer: Stephanie E. Ackerstein, 706-542-5172, lawprstu@uga.edu
Contacts: Robert G. Goff Jr., 205-915-2389, rgoffjr@uga.edu
    Sonja R. West, 706-542-5145, srwest@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Law will host free speech advocate Mary Beth Tinker and student speech attorney Mike Hiestand as part of a nationwide tour on Nov. 4 at 12:30 p.m. in Room A (120) of Hirsch Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Tinker was a lead plaintiff in the landmark 1969 U.S. Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, where the court upheld students’ First Amendment right to express themselves in a non-disruptive way within their public schools.

During her talk, Tinker will discuss the case and the current state of free speech and civics awareness among America’s young people. The goal of the “Tinker Tour” is to bring real-life civics lessons to schools and communities through Tinker’s story.

Also speaking at the event is Hiestand, who has written and lectured extensively on legal issues affecting the student media and has worked for more than 20 years as an attorney for the Student Press Law Center.

“We are very excited and honored to be a part of the tour,” said Robert G. Goff Jr., second-year law student and president of the school’s Education Law Student Association. “This is such a great opportunity for students to learn about and to gain insight into free speech from someone who changed the First Amendment rights of teachers and students across the nation.”

The “Tinker Tour” will be visiting 19 states and the District of Columbia over the course of several months, making more than 40 stops along the way. Georgia Law was selected out of nearly 200 invitations received from schools, colleges, and student and teacher conventions to participate in the tour.

The presenting sponsor of the tour is the Student Press Law Center, a nonprofit organization that supports youth voices. More information about the “Tinker Tour” is available at www.tinkertourusa.org.

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