Bergman Memorial Lecture: Freedom of Speech in Schools-Tinker v Des Moines

This event occurred in the past

Bergman Memorial Lecture: Freedom of Speech in Schools-Tinker v Des Moines

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Theatre & Rotunda

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




USD School of Law is holding a reception and panel discussion in honor of Tinker v Des Moines - a 1969 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that established students’ First Amendment free-speech rights in public schools.

The case began in 1965, when some Iowa public school students wore black armbands to school in silent protest against the Vietnam War. After being suspended by their principal, the students sued. When their case reached the Supreme Court four years later, the justices decided by a 7-2 majority that the First Amendment did apply to public school students. "It can hardly be argued," Justice Abe Fortas wrote in the majority opinion, "that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

Reception & Panel

5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Hosted hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine

6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Tinker v Des Moines Panel Discussion

This event is open to the public, USD faculty/administrators, and all undergraduate, graduate, and law students.


Knut S. Johnson '86 (JD)
Law Office of Knut S. Johnson


Hon. Patricia Guerrero
Associate Justice
California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One

David Loy
Legal Director
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of San Diego and Imperial Counties

Cindy Marten
San Diego Unified School District

Directions & Parking Information

All vehicles parked on campus are required to display a valid permit Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. USD School of Law’s Office of Alumni Relations is hosting your parking and individuals who register will receive an email with validation instructions. The general instructions are as follows:


  • Enter campus from the west entrance (Marian Way)
  • Turn left at the kiosk guard station into the West Parking Structure
  • You may park in any unreserved space
  • Follow parking validation instructions sent by email


  • A tram runs from the West Parking Structure to IPJ every 10-15 minutes
  • IPJ is a .03 mile uphill walk from the West Parking Structure and takes approximately 7 minutes

MCLE: Materials & Suggested Readings

USD School of Law is a State Bar of California-approved provider of MCLE credit and certifies that this activity is approved for 1 hour of general credit.

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 US 503 (1969)

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 383 F.2d 988 (8th Cir. 1967)

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 258 F.Supp. 971 (S.D. Iowa 1966)

Court Filings

Del Dickson, The Supreme Court in Conference (1940-1985): The Private Discussions Behind Nearly 300 Supreme Court Decisions, 1st Edition (2001)
John W. Johnson, The Struggle for Student rights: Tinker v. Des Moines and the 1960s (1997)
LRC Reading Room, KF228.T56 J64 1997

Book Chapters
Akhil Reed Amar, The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic (2015)
LRC Reading Room, KF4530 .A43 2015

Frank Kemerer and Peter Sansom, California School Law, Third Edition (2013)

Chace Ramey, Student First Amendment Speech and Expression Rights: Armbands to Bong Hits (2011)
LRC Reading Room, KF4770 .R36 2011

Joseph Russomanno, Speaking Our Minds: Conversations with the People Behind Landmark First Amendment Cases (2002)
CL Book Stacks, KF4770.A7 R87 2002

Oral Argument
Listen online

A Conversation with Mary Beth Tinker, 35 ABA Human Rights Magazine (2008)

Edgar Bittle, The Tinker Case: Reflections Thirty Years Later, 48 Drake L. Rev. 491 (2000)

Kristi L. Bowman, The Civil Rights Roots of Tinker’s Disruption Tests, 58 Am. U. L. Rev. 1129 (2009)

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Obscenity Case Files: Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (includes images)

John W. Johnson, Behind The Scenes In Iowa's Greatest Case: What Is Not In The Official Record Of Tinker V. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 48 Drake L. Rev. 473 (2000)

Scott L. Sternberg, “Outside the Schoolhouse Gate: The Limits of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District,” 30 Communications Lawyer (2014)

Mary Beth Tinker, Reflections on Tinker, 58 Am. U. L. Rev. 1119 (2009)

Bergman Memorial Lecture on Women, Children and Human Rights

The Jane Ellen Bergman Memorial Lecture Series on Women, Children and Human Rights is the result of a from Dr. Barbara Yates, a longtime professor at the University of Illinois and a friend of the late Bergman. According to Dr. Yates, Bergman was “an ordinary citizen who chose to devote her professional life to public service. As a nursing administrator, public health educator, and family therapist, she developed an abiding interest in the human rights of common people, especially the plight of women and children, in a rapidly changing world.” This series is a lasting tribute to Bergman and an opportunity for USD students, faculty and staff, as well as interested members of the community, to hear distinguished lecturers speak about issues concerning women, children and human rights.

USD School of Law's Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI) is California’s premiere academic, research, and advocacy organization seeking to improve the lives of children and youth, with special emphasis on improving the child protection and foster care systems and enhancing resources that are available to youth aging out of foster care. CAI seeks to leverage change for children and youth through impact litigation, regulatory and legislative advocacy, and public education.

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Warren Hall, Room 201
5998 Alcalá Park
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