NYRA Vermont, one of NYRA’s most active chapters, held an event called “Know Your Rights Day” on May 16 at the Vermont Commons School in Burlington. The event attracted dozens of students, as well as members of the local press. “Know Your Rights Day” consisted of a series of workshops pertaining to youth and student rights, as well as speeches by several experts on these issues. Among the speakers were Hardy Machia, the Secretary of NYRA Vermont and the Chairman of the Vermont Libertarian Party; Allen Gilbert, the Executive Director of the Vermont chapter of the ACLU; Frank Bryan, a professor at the University of Vermont; and Matt Brown, a UVM sophomore.
Jay Leff, the president of NYRA-Vermont and a member of the NYRA Board of Directors, was on hand at the event and the local press quoted him extensively. Leff pointed out the importance of understanding your civil rights, and how the schools have failed to teach these rights in any thing but a historical context. The organizers of the event said that they hoped for more faculty involvement and a higher student turnout, but they were generally satisfied with the workshop.