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NYRA Freedom Volume 6, Issue 10

Written by NYRA Mar 29, 2011

NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Scott Davidson and Adam King

Volume 6, Issue 10

October 10, 2006

Contents:

Introduction
New Youth Rights Book Set for Publication
House Passes Anti-Students’ Rights Bill
Martin Luther King, III Supports Lowering of Voting Age
NYRA Member Charged with Felony
NYRA Freedom Gets ISSN Number
Staff Changes, Requests
News from the Web
Conclusion

Introduction

By Scott Davidson

The past month has been one of both disappointment and promise. Despite the work of activists both within and outside of the youth rights community, the US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass the unjust “Student Teacher Safety Act.” However, an important youth rights book is to be published and is expected to get a lot of media attention. Martin Luther King, III has come out in favor of a lower voting age. Perhaps most importantly, NYRA member Jesse Hunter had the courage to vote before his 18 th birthday. In the great tradition of the women’s suffrage movement, Jesse is likely to face the wrath of the law for exercising this most sacred right.

New Youth Rights Book Set for Publication

By Scott Davidson

The noted scholar Dr. Robert Epstein has written a book entitled* “*The Case against Adolescence: Reversing the Artificial Extension of Childhood, Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen.*”* NYRA received an advance copy of this book several months ago, but at the time Epstein was having a hard time finding a publisher. “The Case against Adolescence” will come out in March of 2007, and NYRA is expecting a significant reaction and a great deal of media attention.

The book argues that adolescence is an unnecessary part of life, and that young people should be treated more like adults. Epstein is the west coast editor of Physchology Today, and is a highly respected individual in his field, his book is sure to turn some heads. Be sure to keep an eye out for this book in March.

House Passes Anti-Students’ Rights Bill

By Scott Davidson

The US House of Representatives recently passed the so-called Student Teacher Safety Act of 2006 (HR 5295). The Student Teacher Safety Act requires all schools receiving federal funding to adopt authoritarian policies. It would essentially require most school districts to allow teachers and other school officials to search any student at any time for any or no reason at all. NYRA members are encouraged to contact their US Senators, and ask them to oppose this legislation, should a Senate version come to the floor.

Rep. Geoff Davis, who is facing a tough reelection, introduced HR 5295. Cosponsors included Judy Biggert Charles W. Boustany, John R. Carter, Phil English, Michael Fitzpatrick, Jim Gerlach, Sue W. Kelly, Mark R. Kennedy, Mark Steven Kirk, John Kuhl, Ron Lewis, Jon C. Porter, Christopher Shays, John Shimkus, Bill Shuster, Mark E. Souder, and Curt Weldon. Among the groups opposed to the bill are the National School Boards Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Great City Council Schools, Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, and of course, NYRA.

The bill made its way through the House of Representatives by an anonymous two-thirds voice vote, which would not have been possible without the tacit approval of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Youth rights activists should demand to know if their Representatives voted for this atrocious legislation. A few members of Congress had the courage to stand up and speak out against HR 5295 – particularly Rep. Pete Stark, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Rep. Danny Davis, and Rep. George Miller.

Martin Luther King, III Supports Lowering of Voting Age

By Scott Davidson

According to NYRA Board Member Alex Hull-Richter, Martin Luther King, III supports NYRA’s efforts to lower the voting age. Martin Luther King, III, the son of the famous civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., and he has become an influential figure in his own right.

NYRA Member Charged with Felony

By Adam King

Calling it the biggest thing he has ever done in his entire life, Jesse L. Hunter voted in the Minnesota primaries on Sept. 12. However, Hunter is unlike other voters casting their ballots this year. He is only 17 years old.

“They [polling officials] examined my driver’s license and asked for my social security number,” Hunter said, “but they never seemed to notice that I wrote ‘1989’ as the year of my birth. I voted, and walked out euphoric, bearing an ‘I Voted’ sticker upon my forehead.”

Hunter tells fellow members at the National Youth Rights Association (NYRA) that he never intended to actually vote, but wanted to spark a conversation on the voting age. He considers the current voting age to be unfair to those under the age of 18. “I learned about the importance of voting from my high school government teacher,” he said.

Hunter’s mother broke down in tears after receiving a phone call from the district attorney’s office informing her that her son will be charged with voting fraud, a class one felony in the state of Minnesota. According to the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission, a judge is allowed to give a sentence of up to 12 months in jail or other non-jail sanctions as conditions of probation for someone with no criminal history.

“Many adults take the right to vote for granted: more than 80 million eligible adults failed to vote in the ‘high turnout’ 2004 election,” said Alex Koroknay-Palicz, NYRA’s Executive Director. “Yet for exercising the central civil right in this country, Jesse is being charged with a felony.”

“If Jesse was a year older, he would be applauded for doing his civic duty, but instead, he is being charged with a crime,” said Adam King, NYRA’s Vice President. “Jesse had the courage to stand up for what is right – for democracy – and he could go to jail for doing so.”

NYRA Freedom Gets ISSN Number

By Adam King

In June of 2006, I applied for an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) number from the United States Library of Congress. After waiting for nearly three months, I finally received word from the LOC. The ISSN is free, and it can prove valuable to us in the future. Other publishers use the number to make it easier for libraries to catalog their publications. Our ISSN is 1933-5229, as of Sept. 15, 2006.

Staff Changes, Requests

By Adam King

There are no new staff changes, except to report that I have been promoted to moderator status on the NYRA Forums.

We still need interested members to volunteer for the positions of Central Region Captain and South Region Captain. If you are interested, apply online at http://www.youthrights.org/chapterformation.php, and contact me.

News from the Web

Party’s over for bars selling booze to kids
http://www.youthrights.org/article.php?threadid=8888

Congressman sent explicit messages to underage male pages
http://www.youthrights.org/article.php?threadid=8852

In Many Public Schools, the Paddle Is No Relic
http://www.youthrights.org/article.php?threadid=8813

Police: Teen Forced To Drink Turpentine
http://www.youthrights.org/article.php?threadid=8785

‘Millions unaware’ of ageism laws
http://www.youthrights.org/article.php?threadid=8779

Today’s teens care more about news than teens in the past
http://www.youthrights.org/article.php?threadid=8768

Teen might be charged with providing alcohol to minor
http://www.youthrights.org/article.php?threadid=8754

Congress literally stripping away students 4th amendment rights
http://www.youthrights.org/article.php?threadid=8732

Curfew crackdown
http://www.youthrights.org/article.php?threadid=8720

Woman allegedly forces kids to eat own vomit
http://www.youthrights.org/article.php?threadid=8708

Requiring Pledge of Allegiance brings mixed response
http://www.youthrights.org/article.php?threadid=8666

Drug Use Up for Boomers, Down for Teens*
http://www.youthrights.org/article.php?threadid=8641

Conclusion

By Adam King

It is great news that we have finally received our ISSN number from the Library of Congress and that Martin Luther King, III has revealed his support for a lower voting age. The NYRA Board of Directors continues to make great progress in advancing youth rights, and it is assisting Jesse Hunter with his case. If you want to be a part of exciting grassroots work, become a paid member today.

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