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Marshall-Brennan Program at AU Washington College of Law to Present 2005 Mary Beth Tinker Awards to Georgia Lawyer, Client; Oklahoma Defense Attorney, May 18

Contact: WCL Public Relations, 202-274-4279

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 16, 2005) – The Marshall-Brennan Project at American University Washington College of Law, will present its Mary Beth Tinker Award to Lawyer Michael Manely and his client, Jeff Selman, of Georgia and to Leah Farish of Tulsa. The awards will be given at a dinner ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, in Room 600 of the law school, 4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW .

Each year, the Marshall-Brennan Project presents the Mary Beth Tinker Award (named for the famous case on student rights decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, Tinker v. Des Moines School District). The award is given to individuals who stood up for and advanced the cause of students' rights in a meaningful way.

One set of recipients includes a lawyer, Michael Manely, and the father of a student, Jeff Selman, of Cobb County, Georgia, who won a lawsuit requiring the school board to remove from biology textbooks an anti-evolution sticker that says "evolution is a theory, not a fact..."

The other honoree is Leah Farish, a lawyer from Tulsa, Okla., who represented an 11-year-old Muslim girl, Nashala Hearn, when Hearn was suspended for wearing a hijab or head scarf to school. The lawsuit Farish filed for Hearn was settled by the Muscokee school board.

The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project is a unique and highly acclaimed program where law students go into local high schools to teach students about their constitutional rights and responsibilities. The curriculum is based on the book We the Students: Supreme Court Cases for and About Students (CQ Press and the Supreme Court Historical Society, 2000). Written by AU Law Professor Jamin B. Raskin, We the Students examines 35 actual cases heard by the Supreme Court that deal with the constitutional rights of students. Issues addressed in the book include such topics as religion in public schools; prayer in school athletic events; illegal locker searches; random drug testing of athletes; sexual harassment in schools and student free speech issues.

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