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NYRA Freedom Volume 6, Issue 8

Written by NYRA Mar 29, 2011

NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Scott Davidson and Adam King

Volume 6, Issue 8

August 12, 2006

Contents:

Introduction
NYRA Holds Annual Meeting
Election Held, New Board Elected
Board to Elect Officers
Activists Fight DC Curfew
WWASPS Sued for $100,000,000
Student Rights Handbook Complete
Feature: Continuing progress on student representation
News From the Web
Upcoming Events
Staff Changes
Conclusion

Introduction

By Scott Davidson

The past month has shown a great deal of promise. NYRA’s annual meeting attracted activists from throughout the country, the membership elected a fantastic board of directors, Adam King continues his struggle for student representation on school boards, and WWASPS is facing a serious threat to their evil empire. Perhaps most importantly, NYRA’s annual report indicates that the past term was, while not without its downsides, better than many people had thought in fundraising, which is so essential to our success. I am certain that with our new national leadership and concrete commitments from the grassroots the 06-07 term will be even better than 05-06.

NYRA Holds Annual Meeting

By Scott Davidson

On August 5, 2006, NYRA members met at Saint Paulus Church in San Francisco, Cali., to listen to speakers, hear about the events of the past year, and discuss youth rights with activists from throughout the country. This year’s annual meeting was the best NYRA has ever had.

The meeting began with a film entitled Les Enfants Perdus De Tranquility Bay. This powerful, moving documentary exposes the atrocities committed by The World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools. Even those familiar with WWASPS left the meeting with a greater understanding of the behavior modification industry. After the film, Jordan Riak of nospank.net gave an enlightening speech about gulag schools and corporal punishment. Riak’s speech was a convincing and articulate defense of the basic human dignity that young people posses, which is too often ignored by parents, teachers, and lawmakers. Riak also provided an abundance of literature. Riak’s words and pamphlets should be able to convince all but the most sadistic, ageist individuals that corporal punishment is wrong, and that laws concerning assault should grant equal protection to young people.

After lunch, those attending the meeting heard from Dr. Mike Males. Males is currently a sociology professor at UC Santa Cruz. He is also a member of NYRA’s Board of Advisors. Males is the author of “Framing Youth” and “Scapegoat Generation,” two must-read works for anyone who wants to understand the war against youth taking place in the media and the halls of power.

Males spoke about how problems generally associated with young people are either fabricated or exaggerated by the media and policy makers. Males went on to explain how older people are actually engaging in more negative behavior, and how a lot of ageism is actually rooted in racist, xenophobic fear. He also spoke about how real problems facing young people (poverty, etc) are largely ignored by baby boomers, who are using ageism as a sort of defense against the inevitability of a culturally diverse, forward looking pre-figurative society where society is made in the image of the young, not the old.

After Males’ speech, NYRA’s Executive Director Alex Koroknay-Palicz delivered the annual report. Koroknay-Palicz’s report was cautiously optimistic. He noted that while NYRA had many shortcomings over the past year, most of these shortcomings were intensified by unrealistic expectations. He also noted that while chapter activity declined, NYRA’s financial situation has actually improved. The report lead to a lot of positive, constructive discussion.

Due to some technical problems, election results were not available at the meeting, but they were made available soon after.

Attendees included two former NYRA presidents, every NYRA officer from the 05-06 term, and eight current or former NYRA board members. Special thanks to Dustin Manuel for setting up the meeting location, and to the (Chris) Howell family for hosting many out of town attendees. In total, eighteen people attended the annual meeting equalling the number from last year’s annual meeting in New York City. Thank you all who attended.

The annual meeting generated two press hits: The Last Civil Rights Movement http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?t=8395

National Youth Rights Association Meeting Discusses Ageism, Promotes Youth Voting http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?t=8391

The annual report will be available online in the next week or two.

Election Held, New Board Elected

By Scott Davidson

After a close election, NYRA’s membership has spoken. The membership has elected Jessica Campbell, Scott Davidson, Zach Hobesh, Alex Hull-Richter, Adam King, Alex Koroknay-Palicz, Keith Mandell, Katrina Moncure, and Pamela Tatz to sit on the NYRA board of directors for the 2006-2007 term. All of the candidates were well qualified, and everyone on this board possesses unique attributes that will strengthen NYRA over the next year.

The board of directors provides leadership for the organization and hires the organization’s staff. Directors serve one year terms and all members may run for the board.

NYRA members also voted on proposed bylaw amendments. The bulk of NYRA’s important chapter policy was approved, but an essential provision defining chapters as separate legal entities failed to receive the necessary two-thirds majority. The new board is expected to re-approve this bylaw, and bring it to the membership for a second vote next summer. The membership also approved bylaw amendments regarding attendance requirements for directors and officers, and other matters.

With well over sixty voters (members must pay dues in order to vote), turnout was decent but could have been better.

Congratulations to the new board of directors. NYRA extends its gratitude to everyone who voted in the election and everyone who ran for the board.

Board to Elect Officers

By Scott Davidson

At its first meeting, the new NYRA Board of Directors will elect a new president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary to serve through August of 2007. The treasurer and secretary positions are open to all NYRA members, and the current secretary is not seeking another term in that office. The president and vice president must be members of the Board of Directors. If you are interested in running for the position of treasurer or secretary, e-mail us.

Activists Fight DC Curfew

By Adam King

On Friday, Aug. 4, civil rights groups protested Washington, D.C.’s restrictive curfew provision which makes it illegal for teenagers aged 16 and under to be outside after 10 p.m.

Protesters assembled at the Reeves Center at 14th and U, NW. According to Adam Schwartz, an area DC member, “There were perhaps 12 -15 protesters, mainly members of the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN). We stood on the streets outside of the juvenile booking and holding HQ, one of the two places were young people who are swept up during the curfew are taken. We held signs like ‘end the police state,’ ‘jobs, not curfew,’ ‘end the ageist, racist curfew,’ and ‘youth is not a crime.’”

Protests are legal and constitutional, and they get the message across if enough people participate.

NYRA and many other organizations in the district area are opposed to juvenile curfew laws. “As long as any segment of our population is under house arrest for crimes that they did not commit, this is not a free nation,” said Alex Koroknay-Palicz, NYRA’s Executive Director. “This curfew mocks the American legal principle of innocent until proven guilty by treating young people as criminals just for being who they are.”

Furthermore, independent research has found no evidence to support the claim that curfews reduce any type of juvenile crime. In their 1999 study for “Western Criminology Review,” professors Mike A. Males of University of California Santa Cruz and Dan Macallair of San Francisco State University examined juvenile curfew laws across California. They reported, “[The] analysis of curfew laws point to the ineffectiveness of these measures in reducing youth crime.”

Many police officers across the country feel curfew laws create a drain on police time and resources, forcing them to not only serve and protect, but also to parent.

Nighttime is not the most common time for juvenile crime. According to the FBI, youth between the ages of 12 and 17 are most at risk of committing violent acts and being victims between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The parents of teenaged violators of this ongoing curfew may be issued a fine of up to $500 or community service, and teenagers may be ordered to work up to 25 hours of community service. Parents who do not pick up their teenagers from the two curfew centers in the district by 6 a.m. will have their teenagers taken to the Child and Family Services Agency.

WWASPS Sued for $100,000,000

By Scott Davidson

The World Wide Association of Specialty programs and schools, a corporation that brings in millions of dollars every year by torturing young people, is facing a large class action suit. While WWASPS is being sued for misleading marketing tactics and accreditation issues rather than its blatant disregard for human rights, the lawsuit could put a serious dent in the organization. NYRA extends its sympathy to all the victims of WWASPS, and all the plaintiffs in this recent class action suit.

Student Rights Handbook Complete

By Adam King

After nearly four months into the making, the Student Rights Handbook 2006 published by the National Youth Rights Association is now available.

The Student Rights Handbook was made possible mostly because of Stefan Muller, Adam King, and several other researchers, writers, and graphic designers. The handbook is offered to the public as a service for students who may not know what their rights are when in a controversial situation at school.

The hope is that members will distribute the books or link to the book throughout their schools and communities. Members can order one book or in bulk from NYRA with a low charge to handle processing and shipping, print the book off NYRA’s website or they can send it through a variety of mediums, including email and MySpace.

“Basically, I’m hoping that this can make sure students all over the country know what rights they’re entitled to have,” Muller said. “If students everywhere know their rights, schools will be held accountable to uphold them.”

The handbook can be found online at www.youthrights.org/StudentRightsHandbook.pdf and will soon be available to order in print edition through NYRA’s website. Stay tuned for more information and updates.

Feature: Continuing progress on student representation

By Adam King

On Thursday, July 20, I held a public forum and press conference in downtown Asheville. My goal in doing so was to show the Buncombe County Board of Education how many people actually support having a student adviser on the school board.

Members from the media included WLOS-TV, 570 AM WWNC, and Mountain Xpress. All of the preceding ran stories on my press conference, and although reporters did not attend, the Asheville Citizen-Times ran two stories about my forum.

The next day, I was a guest on a morning radio show on 96.5 FM WOXL for about an hour. I was able to meet with the hosts before and after the show, and they are very supportive of my project. During the show, we talked about my activism in the community, the project, and other things. I had a great time.

On Thursday, August 10, I spoke at the school board meeting. Five board members spoke against it, and the others seemed to agree with the ones who are against it. The chair told me that I may still come to the meetings to talk about it, but they more than likely will not take any more action on it. Some of the ones who spoke out against it put words in my mouth and acted as if I did not address issues that I had already addressed.

The one who said he would support it was the first to speak against it, and the other one who said he would support it did not even say anything. They claim that they are active in the school districts they are supposed to represent when most staff members never see them.

I do plan to keep on attending school board meetings whether I speak or not. By the time the last half of most board meetings come about, there usually is no one from the general public there. Therefore, they can say whatever they want and no one but their support staff will even know. Anything else that is controversial is handled in closed session.

On a side note, I will soon be working with the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners to add a youth adviser or youth council onto their board. It certainly has enough support from the Commissioners, so it would likely pass.

And on another side note, I will soon be blogging about my project and daily high school issues on the Asheville Citizen-Times website. Only six applicants from the public were given an opportunity to have an online blog.

News From the Web

The Last Civil Rights Movement
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?t=8395

DC Curfew Now Earlier
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?t=8219

Tech Seminar Touts Web as Springboard for Civic Action
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?t=8363

National Youth Rights Association Meeting Discusses Ageism, Promotes Youth Voting
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?t=8391

Over the Edge
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?t=8250

“Infidel” Texts Banned in Schools
http://www.youthrights.org/forums/article.php?t=8413

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, August 15, 2006 at 8:00 p.m. EST – Informal Youth Rights Chat

Sunday, September 3, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. EST – First Board Meeting of the Year

Monday, September 4, 2006 at 8:00 p.m. EST – Informal Youth Rights Chat

TBA – First Chapter Informational Update Meeting of the Year

Unless otherwise specified, all chats are held in the AIM chatroom “NYRA”

Staff Changes

Two applications have been received for captain of the central region of chapter formation. After the initial evaluation by Adam King, the applications have been sent to Alex Koroknay-Palicz and Keith Mandell for selection.

Adam King is seeking a replacement for his position as South Region Captain. All interested candidates should apply at www.youthrights.org/chapterformation.php.

Conclusion

By Adam King

It is almost time for school to start back in many places yet again, and the new board of directors has been selected yet again. Wow. I must say, Congratulations to all of you. It will be a pleasure working with you in the coming year. If you did not run for the board this year, I encourage you to get involved in the organization in some way if you are not already. The work ahead that faces all of us cannot be tackled by just a few – It takes the coordination of everyone to make a difference.

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