Friday, September 28
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m

Loyola University Chicago School of Law 
Philip H. Corboy Law Center
Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, 10th Floor
25 E. Pearson Street, Chicago

Students today continue to use their voices to organize and protest against society’s injustices and violence. It has been nearly 50 years since the landmark Supreme Court decision in Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent Community School District, upholding students’ First Amendment rights to express their views in a school setting.  Loyola is thrilled to welcome one of the plaintiffs in the case, Mary Beth Tinker, to reflect on her experience defending her right as a 13 year old to wear a black armband to school to protest the Vietnam War.

Where does Tinker stand today?  Following Ms. Tinker’s reflections, Professor Alexander Tsesis will speak about the legal standards governing the First Amendment and student speech, followed by a panel discussion on contemporary issues relating to free speech and youth activism at school, particularly post-Parkland.

The Illinois MCLE Board has approved this program for 2.5 hours of general CLE credit.  The seminar and CLE credit are offered free of charge.


1 p.m. | Welcome/Introduction

1:15 p.m. | Mary Beth Tinker

2:30 p.m. | First Amendment and Student Speech 

  • Alexander Tsesis, Raymond & Mary Simon Chair in Constitutional Law and Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

3-4 p.m. | Panel on the Legacy of Tinker today

  • Khadijah Benson, Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE)
  • Amy Kosanovich Dickerson, Partner, Franczek Radelet P.C.
  • Dr. Eric Witherspoon, Superintendent, Evanston Township High School
  • Miranda Johnson, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Education Law and Policy Institute, Loyola University Chicago School of Law (moderator)