Two years ago NYRA joined its first amicus brief, in the case of Safford v. Redding, in which a middle school student was strip searched because school officials suspected she had Ibuprofen. We were proud to help Savana Redding win her case at the US Supreme Court. Last summer NYRA joined an amicus brief in the US Supreme Court case of Schwarzenegger v. EMA, at issue is whether California may ban violent video games for individuals under 18. No decision in that case yet, but we aren’t going to sit back and wait, we’re moving forward with two more cases this year.
The first case, once again at the US Supreme Court, is Camreta v. Greene, which involves a 9-year-old girl who was forcibly detained for two hours in school as she was interrogated by the police. There was no warrant, her parents weren’t notified and she wasn’t herself under suspicion of any wrongdoing (her father was), yet she was not free to go. This would not have been permitted were she not in school, and the state is arguing that students give up their rights when they go to school. NYRA disagrees and has joined this case.
The second case, this time at the 11th Circuit Court, called Barnes v. Zaccari, involves a student at Valdosta State University who was expelled from school for protesting the construction of a new parking garage. We are joining the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and other groups who believe that free speech should be protected in college and there should be consequences for violating the rights of students. In both cases, NYRA was invited to join the briefs. Our reputation is rising and we are being seen as an important partner for defending the rights of youth. We will keep everyone informed of progress in these cases.