Touro Hosts Civic Education Program for Long Island High Schoolers

Program Also Being Live Streamed for Students Throughout New York State

November 29, 2018

Touro Law Center, in partnership with Project PATCH, the Law and Civic Education Program of the Northport-East Northport School District, will host a program entitled “Icons of Freedom” on Friday, November 30 from 9:30 am -12:30 pm. Approximately 400 students from 11 districts throughout Long Island will be attending. The program will also be live streamed for schools throughout the state. Featured speakers include Mary Beth Tinker and Cathy Kuhlmeier Frey.

“We are delighted to host this program” stated Dean Harry Ballan. “It’s an unparalleled opportunity for high school students to learn from ‘icons of freedom.’ I hope students will be inspired to become active, socially responsible citizens.”

David Scott, Project PATCH Coordinator and Social Studies teacher in the Northport-East Northport School District and graduate of Touro stated, “This program promises to inspire those in attendance and those watching live stream from their classrooms. Both speakers have important stories to tell and do so in a way that is engaging and inspirational. I am proud to be offering the event in partnership with Touro.”

Tinker was one of the lead plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines. As a public school student during the Vietnam era, as a matter of conscience, Mary Beth Tinker wore a black armband to school to mourn for the dead on both sides of the conflict and express her wish for peace. This act of self-expression resulted in her suspension from school. The case was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court of the United States which ruled in favor of the students, holding that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate”. This landmark holding is one basis for students’ First Amendment rights in schools today.

As a student at Hazelwood East High School in Missouri, Cathy Kuhlmeier Frey served as the student editor of the school newspaper, The Spectrum. The paper was an integral part of the curriculum for the Journalism II course at Hazelwood East High School. In the spring of 1983, with the support of her teacher and faculty advisor, Kuhlmeier sought to publish articles on teen pregnancy and divorce in The Spectrum. The school principal removed the stories from the paper. Believing this censorship violated students' rights to Free Speech and Free Press under the First Amendment, Kuhlmeier filed a lawsuit against her school which eventually made its way to the Supreme Court of the United States. In the landmark case Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier the Supreme Court ruled against Kuhlmeier finding schools have the power to censor "school sponsored" student expression if the censorship relates to legitimate pedagogical concerns. This decision remains controversial. Ten states (and the District of Columbia) have passed "Anti-Hazelwood" laws or regulations that extend additional protections to student journalists. Today, Cathy Kuhlmeier Frey continues to work as an advocate for students' rights and freedom of the press.

Touro Law Center and Project PATCH expanded their partnership earlier this year. The program will provide training for K-12 teachers throughout the state, presentations and information sessions at statewide teaching conferences as well as educational programs and mock trial competitions for students.


Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law is located adjacent to both a state and a federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Touro Law’s proximity to the courthouses, coupled with programming developed to integrate the courtroom into the classroom, provide a one-of-a kind learning experience for law students, combining a rigorous curriculum taught by expert faculty with a practical courtroom experience. Touro Law is dedicated to providing hands-on learning that enables students to gain experience while offering much-needed legal services in the community.

Touro Law, which has an alumni base of more than 6,500, offers full- and part-time J.D. programs where students can earn a degree in 2, 3 or 4 years and provides four areas of concentration Additionally, Touro offers a hybrid, four-year FlexTime Program combining online and on campus learning. Touro Law offers several dual degree programs and graduate law programs for US and foreign law graduates, including a new online LL.M. in Aging & Longevity Law. Touro Law Center is part of the Touro College system.

About the Touro College and University System 
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has 30 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to:

For more info contact:
Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
(631) 761-7062

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