Sunshine week celebrates Washington's right to open public records

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March 12, 2013 3:36 PM

From The Bellingham Herald:

Nearly fifty years ago a middle-school student and her friends set a major free speech case into motion by wearing a black armband to school to protest the Vietnam war.

They subsequently protested their suspension from school. And eventually won: In 1969 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Tinker vs. Des Moines School District that neither "students or teachers shed their Constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

Today, Mary Beth Tinker, now a pediatric nurse, tells her story to students to encourage them to stand up for what they believe and speak out on issues they're passionate about. She also reminds them that to speak effectively they must know what's going on. She urges them to read the news, seek out information and opinions, and follow legislative action that affects them.