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Fighting for students’ right to speak out

WINSTED —  Free speech activist Mary Beth Tinker addressed a rapt audience at Northwestern Regional High School on Tuesday, May 22.

In December 1965, when Tinker was a 13-year-old student in Des Moines, Iowa, she was part of a group of Warren Harding Junior High students who wore black armbands to school to mourn casualties on both sides of the Vietnam War.

Because the school district had adopted a policy to suspend students who wore the armbands, Tinker and the other students were punished.

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