Volume 7, Issue 10
October 4, 2007
Editors: Victoria Minerva Rodrguez Roldn and Harry Lambrianou
Table of Contents
-NYRA-Passaic County Success!
-NYRA Download Section Unveiled
-Avoiding Corporal Punishment in School
-MO Drinking Age Campaign Under Way
-News from the Web
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” –Henry David Thoreau
October is a time of rumination. As the leaves turn to red and the nights grow slowly longer, we look backward on our successes of recent days. We celebrate with our friends the success of our chapters. We welcome new friends, whose efforts mesh so well with our own. And we look forward, that our work – and our success – may not grow cold in the icy months ahead.
Chapter Spotlight: NYRA-Passaic County
Formerly NYRA-Paterson, this New Jersey chapter has recently expanded to include all of Passaic County. They have been campaigning heavily against curfew laws, under the leadership of Prospect Park resident Fredrick Mutooni.
Mr. Mutooni, a parent of two whose children are both active NYRA members, received 1500 votes in his recent bid for a council seat. As he said, “all candidates that supported curfew laws lost. [I]n Paterson there will never be a curfew.”
Since the consolidation of Passaic County into one chapter, they have only been getting stronger. On Saturday, September 8th they had a recruitment drive in Prospect Park, and Mr. Mutoonis daughter is currently working to start a chapter in her high school.
A gallery from their recent Prospect Park outing is available here: http://picasaweb.google.com/thecubephotos/NYRAPASSAICCOUNTYNJ
More information on NYRA-Passaic County themselves can be found here: http://passaiccounty.youthrights.org/
NYRA Download Section Unveiled
September 13 marked the premiere of the new Downloads section of the NYRA homepage. As of the unveiling, 129 files were available. Users are invited to add their own documents to this resource, sharing valuable information with peers in the Youth Rights movement. Current sections include Papers & Research, Flyers & Handouts, Activist Toolkit, Audio, You(th)Tube (videos), Promotional Items, and Web Promotional Items. Flyers and other customizable documents are available in their original form, ready to be tailored to users’ needs. Since the section went live there have been 798 total downloads from the section. The most popular file is a study done by researchers Thomas S. Dee and William N. Evans that shows there was little positive effect on drunk driving from raising the drinking age to 21.
Recent additions include a youth rights collage for desktop backgrounds, a study showing juvenile?s competence to stand trial, an mp3 composition about Tranquility Bay, and a voting age talking points handout.
Let Nothing Touch Me
The fight against corporal punishment continues in the United States. California-based organization Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education has taken up the cause, giving parents useful advice on what to do for their children when faced with violence from school officials. Executive Director Jordan Riak offers sound advice to the students themselves on how to be involved in their own defense. His statement is available online here: http://www.nospank.net/riak126.htm
If you are a student in a district that allows corporal punishment, please check out the link to know how to avoid being struck in school.
MO Drinking Age Campaign
Since June 15 of this year, Kansas City information technology expert Michael Mikkelsen has been waging a campaign in Missouri to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18. This began at the Ron Paul Presidential rally, and has since drawn national attention. His group, Missouri 18 to Drink, believes the measure would end the “black market subculture of binge drinking.” He admits they face an uphill battle, but is confident his volunteers will be able to rally the 131,181 signatures necessary to put the question on the ballot.
No Federal law prohibits a state from having a drinking age less than 21, though a strongarm law is in place that would cost the state an estimated $50 million dollars in federal highway funds of which only about $11 million would be made up in sales and excise taxes. The homepage for this campaign can be found here: http://www.missouri18todrink.org/
News From the Web
School Board Welcomes Student Bauce
Drink-at-18 movement makes a comeback
Youths aren’t the only ones opposing curfews
Should the drinking age be lowered to 18 from 21?
Party on, dude
Democrats: 18 Year Olds Can Fight But Not Drink
Opponents of 18-21 voters drinking sliding around question of discrimination
Court rules school officials acted properly in strip search
Curfew Controversy at Fresno’s River Park Isn’t Over
Frisco implements curfew for teenagers
Cape student group seeks lower voting age
Kent council wants lower drinking age
Principal Forces Teens to Apologize on Hands And Knees
Teen drivers balk at state?s proposed restrictions
Illinois middle school says no to hugs
Bid to cut vote age to 16
Teens call to end wage gap
Doctors’ code of silence will hide under-age sex from parents
Call for young mayors to give teens a bigger community role
Harvest season has seen growth inside NYRA, and fittingly enough, expansion in the Youth Rights movement as a whole. We share with others, such as the Missouri 18 to Drink campaign, in a spirit of camaraderie. With our new Download section, we have ever more to offer to those who seek a helping of reassurance. NYRA Passaic County and our other bountiful chapters find themselves growing, finding their spring in the waning days of summer. Until next month, may we meet again in days of plenty.