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Plaintiff in Iconic School Speech Case Kicks Off Tour in Philadelphia

By Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Mary Beth Tinker made national headlines in 1960s when she took a free speech fight to the U.S. Supreme Court and won. Tinker was suspended by her school for wearing a black arm band to mourn the people killed in the Vietnam War. Now Tinker is traveling the country to urge young people to take action on the issues of the day.

KYW Newsradio's Dan Wing caught up with Tinker Sunday, two days before her tour kicks off at the National Constitution Center on Tuesday.

Tinker was just 13 when she made her stand for free speech, and now working as a pediatric nurse, she has a simple message to spread on her tour.

"To encourage kids to know their rights, know about the constitution, and use them to change the world. To change the things they want to speak up about. The issues of their lives," Tinker said.

In the past few years, protests have been popping up around the country over issues like marriage equality, the Occupy Movement, and Trayvon Martin's death, which Tinker finds refreshing.

"There are so many young people that are speaking up and standing up for so many different things. And that's what I tell kids - the stories about these others kids all over the country, and all over the world, that are speaking up and standing up," Tinker said.

The 'Tinker Tour' kicks off Tuesday, and runs through Thanksgiving.

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