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ADVISORY: Student Activists, Mary Beth Tinker Host Digital Teach-In on Landmark Student Free Speech Case

Student activist groups host #SaveStudentSpeech: A Teach-In and Conversation With Mary Beth Tinker to call on the Supreme Court to protect student free speech in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L.

Press Release
April 26, 2021

MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 24, 2021

Student activist groups Student Voice, March For Our Lives, Kentucky Student Voice Team (KSVT) and Houston Independent School District Student Congress (HISD StuCon) are hosting #SaveStudentSpeech: A Teach-In and Conversation With Mary Beth Tinker on the student free speech Supreme Court case Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. In the teach-in event, student activists will share their stories regarding why the right to free speech in schools is important to them and participate in an intergenerational dialogue with Mary Beth Tinker, discussing the evolution of student speech over the decades.

The event accompanies an amicus brief Student Voice, March for Our Lives, Kentucky Student Voice Team and Houston Independent School District Student Congress have filed to raise awareness about the Mahanoy’s potential impact on student activism. If the Supreme Court  decides to roll back students’ First Amendment rights to off-campus or social media speech, schools could prevent students from participating in activism on any potentially “disruptive” issues they care about, even outside the school building. Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. is likely to be the biggest student free speech case since Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, of which Mary Beth Tinker was famously the plaintiff.

What: #SaveStudentSpeech: A Teach-In and Conversation With Mary Beth Tinker

Who:
Ana Despa, she/her, Kentucky Student Voice Team school governance lead & sophomore at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky
Michel Leon, she/her, member of leadership team of HISD student congress and freshman at Bellaire high school

Travis Harper he/they, Judicial Advocacy Associate at March for Our Lives & sophomore at Harvard College
Gabriella Staykova, she/her, Student Voice team member & high school senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky
Connor Flick, he/him, researcher and member of the Kentucky Student Voice Team & high school junior at the Gatton Academy in Kentucky
Athena Haq, she/her, member of the HISD Student Congress leadership team & high school sophomore at the Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas
Tabitha Escalante (moderator), she/her, Judicial Advocacy Associate at March for Our Lives & sophomore at Harvard College

When: Monday, April 26th at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT

Where: The event will be streamed live on March for Our Lives’ Facebook and Twitter. A recording will be available after the event and can be distributed directly upon request.

Questions: Journalists are invited to submit questions ahead of time or ask questions in the live chat during the event. 

Please RSVP and direct additional inquiries to Jenna Yuan, Student Voice’s Director of Communications, at jenna@stuvoice.org or (425) 260-8146.

About Student Voice

Student Voice is a by-students, for-students 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in all 50 states to equip students as storytellers, organizers and institutional partners who advocate for student-driven solutions to educational inequity. Through direct civic action, Student Voice helps students hold their schools and surrounding communities accountable to the Student Bill of Rights and prepares them to become lifelong agents of social and political change. For more information about Student Voice, visit our website at StuVoice.org and follow @Stu_Voice and #StuVoice on social media.

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