Icons of Freedom

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Students from Bellport High School's AP Government and Introduction to Law classes recently attended the "Icons of Freedom III" event at Stony Brook University. With 500 students from 17 High Schools across Long Island in attendance, the event, presented by Stony Brook University in partnership with Law, Youth and Citizenship Program of the NY State Bar Association, featured speakers from two landmark Supreme Court cases that changed the education laws in the United States.

Mary Beth Tinker and Cathy Kuhlmeier, plaintiffs in landmark Supreme Court First Amendment cases, and attorney Frank LoMonte, First Amendment scholar and Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center, an advocate for student First Amendment rights, addressed the students. Ms. Tinker spoke about her landmark case, Tinker v. DesMoines and Ms. Kuhlmeier spoke about the landmark case, Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier. Together with Mr. LoMonte, the impact of the cases on high school freedom of press and their efforts to get legislation passed in all 50 states to protect student journalists was discussed.

High School senior Abbie Veitch had the opportunity to ask a question about the concept of prior review, and her question was later quoted by Mr. LoMonte - the only student asked question to be mentioned again in the presentations.