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NYRA Freedom Volume 4, Issue 12

Written by NYRA Mar 29, 2011

NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Volume 4, Issue 12

December 9, 2004

Contents:

Introduction
NYRA to Draft Student Bill of Rights
NYRA to Appear on PBS
Youth Rights Network Begun
NYRA Memberships Make Great Gifts
Suffolk County Smoking Age
Chapter News
News from the Web
Events Calendar
Conclusion

Introduction

NYRA, in cooperation with other organizations, has begun work on a comprehensive “Student’s Bill of Rights.” This coupled with recent additions to NYRA’s platform, marks an increased degree of clarity and articulation of NYRA’s fundamental philosophy, without at all diminishing our moderate, pragmatic approach. It is my firm belief that this will make it much easier for us to attract support from the outside and fight ageism in a more concise manner. NYRA is also continuing to have its voice heard in the media, and a new chapter has been founded in New Mexico.

NYRA to Draft Student Bill of Rights

With no comprehensive, widely recognized bill of rights for students, NYRA has decided to draft a true student centered one. Existing bill of rights are crafted by high school and university administrators themselves and list off as many responsibilities (i.e. rules & regulations) as real rights students enjoy. With the rise of restrictive policies such as drug testing, dress codes, and zero tolerance a universal student bill of rights is needed. The document also calls for real student participation in the decision making process, something all too rare in public schools. NYRA intends to work with other organizations such as the ACLU, Advocates for Youth, Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, and others in crafting a widely regarded and accepted students bill of rights. Once completed, the document will be promoted to schools and organizations all over the country, as the coalition seeks out official endorsements. It is expected that with enough support, the Student Bill of Rights will revolutionize how schools treat students all over the country. Thus far, the initiative has been taken largely by members of NYRA’s web forums, evidence that the organization is growing and becoming more vibrant. The project’s new website is: http://www.studentbillofrights.org/wiki Please go and add your voice to the project.

NYRA to Appear on PBS

On November 22nd PBS filmed an hour long program about underage drinking and the drinking age. The latter portion of the program is a panel discussion featuring among others, NYRA President Alex Koroknay-Palicz. Alex presented our case well, arguing that the drinking age is an issue of liberty more so than an issue of health and safety. Panelist and MADD President Wendy Hamilton strongly favored the drinking age and Alex was by far the greatest proponent of lowering it. Many on the panel had fairly moderate opinions, and Alex felt that the panel was more balanced and sympathetic to youth rights than he had anticipated. This is a huge opportunity for NYRA. Countless people will watch this when it is broadcasted, and the considerable length and depth of the discussion works in our favor. This appearance will rank among NYRA’s most significant, and bring many new people to our cause. Members are encouraged to check their local PBS listings, as the program’s airing will differ from market to market.

Youth Rights Network Begun

NYRA has begun work on a comprehensive resource site for the youth rights movement. Using the same wiki technology that powers Wikipedia.org, NYRA has created the Youth Rights Network, and needs your help in making it an important, useful stop in the youth rights galaxy. The page is entirely community edited, meaning that everyone, yes you, can get involved in the maintenence and expansion of this great website. The Youth Rights Network (YRN) will feature articles like NYRA’s library, contain reviews of youth rights books, contain bios of famous individuals in the youth rights movement, have a contact list for all supporters of youth rights, and feature general editable articles on youth rights history, organizations, terms, and philosophy. Most exciting perhaps is the potential for a youth rights law library listing every state, federal and local law that affects the rights of young people. This of course is a huge undertaking, so NYRA members are strongly urged to research their state’s laws and add it to the Youth Rights Network.

NYRA Memberships Make Great Gifts

NYRA depends largely on money from membership dues to operate. Youth rights supporters are encouraged to ask for memberships as gifts for the holidays. Also, if you have a loved one who supports youth rights, consider purchasing a membership for them. Membership is just ten dollars, and comes with a membership card and voting rights in the annual election. Just go to http://www.youthrights.org/donate.shtml to pay dues.

Suffolk County Smoking Age

Lawmakers in Suffolk County, New York, are trying to raise the legal age at which one can purchase cigarettes from eighteen to nineteen. They argue that cigarettes are hazardous, point out that many eighteen year old high school seniors purchase cigarettes for younger high school students, and recycle many of the same trite arguments we have heard used in support of the drinking age. If this goes through it could set a dangerous precedent, and perhaps spread to the rest of New York state. While NYRA does not consider smoking cigarettes a particularly good idea, it is whole heartedly opposed to this legislation, because it is authoritarian and we feel it will be ineffective.

Chapter News

NYRA member Patrick Ward founded a chapter in Santa Fe. The chapter paid its charter and has been approved. NYRA members in New Mexico should send an email to patrick@youthsantafe.org if they wish to become involved. The NYRA-Santa Fe website can be seen at: http://www.youthsantafe.org

Chapters are being started also in Vermont, Houston, and Chicago. Members in these areas are encouraged to check out their threads in the NYRA Forums. All members interested in starting a local chapter are invited to get involved in NYRA’s online chapter forum. NYRA NYC met on December 5th to discuss the curfew and the smoking age. The meeting was productive by all accounts.

NYRA members in DC had some success tabling at an SSDP conference. Money was made, buttons and literature were distributed, and members were recruited. Thanks to everyone who helped out at this event, and to the SSDP for having us.

News From the Web

Suffolk, NY to raise smoke age to 19
Israel to Lower Age
Age limit comes under protest
Daytime Curfew Passed in Battle Creek
State Seeks Some Children’s Removal From City Juvenile Justice Center
Parents Fight Nevada Dress Code
KU student group taps into lower drinking age debate

Events Calendar

Board meeting, December 19th, 8:30 PM.
Youth Rights Chat, December 21st, at 9pm in AIM Chat “NYRA”
Send an instant message to ‘Youth Rights’ to be invited.

Conclusion

This past month has been an active and productive one, with the start of two huge projects that will make a big difference in the rights of youth to come. As we move toward the holiday season, keep NYRA in mind. By giving the gift of NYRA membership, your not only giving a gift to your loved one, but to every young person in America.

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