Mary Beth Tinker to Speak at KEMPA Fall Conference


Mary Beth and John Tinker in 1969 show an armband that each wore to school during the Vietnam war. After both were suspended, their First Amendment case made its way to the Supreme Court where student free speech was upheld.

Mary Beth Tinker, Tinker vs Des Moines Indep. School District (1969) Supreme Court decision supporting student 1st Amendment rights, has committed to be our featured speaker for Fall SJC on Oct. 18! Her email says, “Count us in; it’s definite!”

The Tinker Tour bus to include Mike Hiestand, whose legal expertise and work with the Student Press Law Center is nationally recognized, will arrive at UW-Whitewater for the Fall Conference. They’ve received 180 invitations across the country, and KEMPA is so delighted for our advisers and students to share this 45th Anniversary of the Tinker decision.

The Fall KEMPA Scholastic Journalism Conference will take place on Friday, October 18th, 2013 at University of Wisconsin Whitewater.  Over 40 professional presenters will assist students in building staff skills and morale.

If you are interested in learning more about the conferences, you can find session details, schedules and registration forms in our brochure.
2013 SJC Full Conference Brochure

Mary Beth Tinker, SPLC attorney Mike Hiestand, and Educational Law expert Dr. Steve Brown will work with students during all three sessions!

From 9:30 – 10:15: Mary Beth Tinker: My Story
Join Mary Beth Tinker, SPLC attorney Mike Hiestand and Educational Law Expert Dr. Steve Brown as Mary Beth recounts her journey and they discuss the impact of the landmark Supreme Court rulling Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District. She and other highs school students made history by wearing black armbands in protest of the Vietnam way. Their suspension ultimately led to a Supreme Court decision cited by judges in almost 6,000 court cases to protect student rights. (Seating for 600 in Hamilton Auditorium)

From 10:30 to 11:15: Tinker Tour
Join SPLC attorney Mike Hiestand, Mary Beth Tinker and Educational Law expert Dr. Steve Brown as they discuss the 1969 Supreme Court Tinker decision and what the courts have done since as it affects student expression today. With Tinker considered a high water mark for student free speech rights in America, the session will address the Supreme Court’s Hazelwood and other court decisions involving student media as well as off-campus and Internet based student expression. (Seating for 600 in Hamilton Auditorium)

From 1:00 to 1:45: Tinker Tour
Its Blog, Social Media & Documentary
SPLC attorney Mike Hiestand, Mary Beth Tinker and Educational Law expert Dr. Steve Brown want to hear from students as they and you discuss the First Amendment and student expression today. What issues involving student media as well as Internet based student expression are important to high school students? Share you stories via the Tinker Tour blog, social media or as part of a planned documentary that takes the pulse of young voices. (Seating for 600 in Hamilton Auditorium)

Learn more about the Tinker Tour, Mary Beth and Mike at