Volume 11, Issue 3
March 31, 2011
Editors: Jackie Ferro, Katrina Moncure, Sidnei Banks, Alex Koroknay-Palicz
Publisher: David Moss
– NYRA Partners With Broad Coalition to End Corporal Punishment
– Victory Against San Juan Capistrano Curfew Bill!
– NYRA-DC Defeats a Giant
– Action Through Collaboration at University of Texas
– Strategic Planning Process Begun
– NYRA President Debates Lowering the Voting Age
– Progress Toward Repealing Kyleigh’s Law
– 2011 Annual Meeting Moved to July
Another great month for youth rights. Hopefully by now you’ve read about our recent successes combating Kyleigh’s Law in New Jersey, preventing silly curfew laws in California and preventing corporal punishment in New Mexico and Texas. That would be enough for any organization to be proud of – especially a small (but growing!) organization like NYRA. But it’s not enough for us. This past weekend NYRA board members participated in a successful weekend long strategic planning session. This week NYRA President took to the air again to argue in favor of a lower voting age and NYRA-DC took on Giant Supermarkets, and won.
Oftentimes it can feel that ageism is so pervasive and the forces aligned against youth are so powerful that this battle can seem impossible. But it isn’t. A small organization, a local chapter, or just an individual student can make powerful change with a bit of hard work and ingenuity. Nothing comes easy, but NYRA has proven time and time again that victory is not only possible, but it is likely if proper effort is made. We are in this together. So please, look through these stories of progress and change, and think of ways in which you can make a difference yourself. Change is possible!
NYRA Partners With Broad Coalition to End Corporal Punishment
NYRA is turning up the heat on those 20 remaining states that still allow the barbaric practice of regularly beating children in school. Under the guise of discipline, hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren are beaten by teachers with wooden boards every year. The debate over corporal punishment is long over. There is almost a century of scientific evidence showing that corporal punishment is not only ineffective, but ultimately harmful. Last year, NYRA joined half a dozen other organizations to file a Title IX complaint against these twenty states alleging that paddling is not gender neutral. While that complaint has been rebuffed NYRA has not given up. We have taken the lead on organizing the Coalition Against School Paddling whose membership grows by the week. We’re particularly excited to be partnering with the Unlimited Justice* campaign launched earlier this month by fashion designer and NYRA supporter Marc Ecko. Our work is already starting to pay off as a bill to end corporal punishment in New Mexico sits on the desk of New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. Governor Martinez recently suggested on Bob Clark’s call-in radio show that she is leaning towards signing the bill. While that’s good news we want a definitive answer on what should be a cut and dry decision. Help her make the right decision.
Either the Unlimited Justice* pledge or contact her directly via a web form
http://www.governor.state.nm.us/Contact_the_Governor.aspx or by calling 505-476-2200.
Victory Against San Juan Capistrano Curfew Bill!
Earlier this month the San Juan Capistrano (CA) City Council voted against an effort to make their local curfew law far more strict. The proposed amendments would have imposed a new daytime curfew, changed the start time of the curfew to 10PM and imposed fines on parents of curfew violators. NYRA was on top of this issue from the moment we heard the council was considering this measure and made sure they knew the facts. Curfews are often employed by legislators who forget to review the evidence that shows, quite objectively, that curfews rarely accomplish their purpose and often have unintended consequences.
After submitting NYRA’s comprehensive curfew research to the council for their review, NYRA launched a petition and blog on Change.org that generated almost 150 signatures urging council members to reject the new proposal. The council listened and voted accordingly! Kids and teens in San Juan Capistrano remain free to go outside during the day without being arrested, or accruing fines for their parents.
NYRA-DC Defeats a Giant
NYRA-DC chapter president, and national board member Nigel Jones was trying to buy a muffin from the bakery at a Giant Supermarket in Bowie, Maryland recently when something surprising happened. They refused to sell it to him because he was in high school. This misguided policy was the result of a bizarre effort to curtail shoplifting. How does refusing to sell to people curtail shoplifting? It doesn’t. It’s also illegal in the state of Maryland according to the Maryland Commission on Human Relations. Under Nigel’s leadership, NYRA-DC undertook a campaign to stop this unjust and illegal discrimination. The chapter spoke with several managers from the store, officials at Nigel’s school, city and county law enforcement and finally Giant’s corporate office. Thanks to NYRA-DC’s hard work, Giant backed down and has agreed to admit students into the grocery store once more. This discriminatory policy has been reversed and people of all ages are now free to buy muffins at the Bowie Giant.
Read Nigel’s blog for more details: NYRA Defeats Giant
Action Through Collaboration at University of Texas
NYRA’s chapter at the University of Texas: San Antonio (UT:SA) has been very busy this year, taking on several campaigns and working with a number of groups on campus and in the community. The chapter is working closely with the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) chapter on campus to stop drug raids against freshmen on campus and push for a Good Samaritan policy where students who have drank too much can be taken to the hospital without fear of arrest or expulsion. Chapter president, Pablo Vazquez has met with the administration to discuss the issue and has distributed information on campus to raise awareness.
The chapter has also partnered with both SSDP and Planned Parenthood to promote and increase access to health clinics for students. And has joined in a coalition with SSDP, Students for Liberty, College Republicans, College Democrats, every Greek organization on campus and some health groups to advocate for a bar on campus. As many students currently go off campus to drink, they feel having a bar on campus would allow students to walk to the bar and back and reduce the chances that students might get behind the wheel of a car. Such a broad coalition of student organizations and philosophies shows that this is a good, common sense policy that has broad support. Coalition building is critical for any successful campaign and NYRA-UT:SA does it better than anyone.
Strategic Planning Process Begun
Last weekend, NYRA board members and staff met in Washington, DC for an intense weekend-long strategic planning session. The board discussed what NYRA’s values were, what our vision for the future is and did an analysis of NYRA’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This weekend was just the first step in an ongoing strategic planning process, and all participants are eager to continue the planning process. NYRA is growing fast and as such we are happy to begin the conversation about what our future will look like. Becoming a sustainable organization with a complete professional staff is no longer a pipe dream – it’s
an imminent reality.
NYRA President Debates a Lower Voting Age
NYRA President Jeffrey Nadel continues to dominate the airwaves with informed argument on youth rights issues. This week he was on Mike Rosen’s call-in radio show. Jeffrey was invited to discuss lowering the voting age and the segment lasted well over an hour. Mike Rosen disagrees with the notion but gave Jeffrey every opportunity to make his case and even agreed with Jeffrey that the drinking age should be lowered. The calls in to the show were mixed but many were very supportive and there were multiple calls to correct host Mike Rosen’s facts while no one called in to contest Jeffrey’s facts.
You can listen to the entire segment here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYgH_4EKFrY
Progress Toward Repealing Kyleigh’s Law
Earlier this month, the Scotch Plains city council voted 4-1 to support repeal of a discriminatory law passed last year known as “Kyleigh’s Law” that requires younger drivers to place a red sticker on their license plates. In the words of Scotch Plains Deputy Mayor Mary DePaola, “[This law] makes it easier for criminals and other predators to identify drivers under the age of 21.” This victory is the result of a long campaign coordinated by local NYRA chapters in New Jersey as well as NYRA board members and staff. The state Attorney General is currently conducting an investigation into the controversial law and NYRA plans to make all of our resources available to them.
2011 Annual Meeting Moved to July
NYRA’s 2011 annual meeting’s date has been changed. The meeting will now take place a week earlier than previously scheduled (July 30th and 31st). The meeting will still take place in Washington, DC with the specific location yet to be determined. We apologize for any inconvenience the date change may cause. Annual Meeting planning has begun in earnest, there is little doubt this will be the biggest, best organized Annual Meeting in NYRA’s history. In response to feedback from last year’s Annual Meeting this year’s will be far more interactive and participatory. We have begun planning a host of interesting activities, panels, speakers, debates and discussions for this year’s event. Some of NYRA’s most active members and leaders have described the Annual Meeting as transformative in deepening their understanding of youth rights, deepening their commitment to the cause and for making friends and having a real fun time. We look forward to seeing you there.
April 4 – Informal Chat
8 pm – 12 am Eastern
In the NYRA chatroom on AIM
IM SciVille if you need an invite
April 10 – Board Meeting
8 pm – 10:30 pm Eastern
In the NYRA chatroom on AIM
IM Alex From NYRA if you need an invite
April 19 – Informal Chat
8 pm – 12 am Eastern
In the NYRA chatroom on AIM
IM SciVille if you need an invite
April 16 – #16tovote on the 16th
All Day – Tweet about the voting age and include the hashtag #16tovote
More info here.
April 14 – National Youth Rights Day
Hold An Event to Build Awareness of Youth Rights
July 30 & 31 – NYRA Annual Meeting
NYRA President supports lowering the voting age on NewsRadio 850 KOA in Denver
NYRA Director of Operations Helps Set a World Record!
Social Gaming For Social Good
Protesters Gather Against Paddling
Cuestionan libertad de expresión en la web
NYRA president again used as a prop
Bill would let minors in military drink, smoke
Loosen the Laws, Let Teens Work
De Jong wants to lower voting age
Let Kids Rule the School
Corporal punishment at S. Aug is morally troubling, New Orleans archbishop says
Parents, administrators angry after archbishop bans paddling in school
Capistrano Rejects Daytime Curfew
School lobbied to stop electric shock ban
‘Race to Nowhere’ film highlights stress students face in high-pressure academics
School wants girl with peanut allergy sent home
Facebook kicks off 20,000 underage users a day
House Bill May End Paddling in Schools
Thousands of students still take their licks in Texas schools
Metro anti-crime initiative could restrict student use of system
Marc Ecko: Bullying and Corporal Punishment: A Cycle of Hostility in America’s
Bill outlawing corporal punishment in NM public schools goes to governor
Schools Under Pressure to Spare the Rod Forever
Winnacunnet student protester sticks to his own plan
ACLU: School orders student to remove pro-gay shirt
Mississippi Student Hospitalized after Paddling
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