NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Volume 7, Issue 2

February 16, 2007


NYRA Expands from North and South
New Interns Get To Work
16 Voting Age Proposed in Austria
Corporal Punishment Ban Introduced in California
News from the Web


2007 is off to a great start! Two new chapters have been founded with spectacular potential. Both chapters have hit the ground running and you can expect to hear a great deal about them in the months to come. It is likely they won’t be alone either. Chapter formation is receiving an unprecedented level of attention in the organization right now. Spurred by the hiring of two new interns working at the NYRA office, NYRA is expected to break all records for chapter formation this year. With new chapters comes more members, more visibility, and more real world progress for the movement. This is just the start, expect much more in the weeks and months to come!

NYRA Expands from North and South

NYRA is on track for meeting its goal of 12 new, active chapters this year with the official formation of NYRA-Watkins Glen and the NYRA-Pensacola Brigade. Based in upstate New York, NYRA-Watkins Glen has already enjoyed some early press coverage in the local paper, the Review & Express. Watkins Glen held a debate in conjunction with their school’s history club. The topics they discussed included curfew laws, voting age, and drinking age. It was a blowout success. Chapter President Ben Stamp intends to lobby the county legislature regarding curfew laws and the voting age.

The NYRA-Pensacola Brigade is NYRA’s newest chapter. Founded by Travis Cummings, the chapter is making plans to participate in local demonstrations, city council meetings, and petition projects. The chapter has begun work on more flyers, with plans to distribute and wheat paste them throughout Pensacola and Gulf Breeze. A news release has gone out announcing the creation of the new chapter.

New Interns Get to Work

After moving in to its office, NYRA’s first task was hiring interns. After a brief search two excellent interns were found and began work on February 2. The interns were initially arranged by the Howard Gardner school in Virginia, an alternative high school that gives students time on Friday to pursue internships. Luke Remchuk, a student at that school came to interview and brought along his friend, Spencer Hopkins, a student at Walter Johnson high school in Maryland. Both were very interested in youth rights and were eager to begin work. They have been hired as grassroots organizers working specifically to start new NYRA chapters. With more time and resources devoted to chapter formation it is hoped this year will be our best yet for expanding our grassroots.

16 Voting Age Proposed in Austria

Austria may soon be the first European nation to lower its national voting age to 16. The proposal to lower the age comes from Austria’s “grand coalition” of Social Democrats and the conservative People’s Party following elections on Oct. 1. Currently 16 year olds are able to vote for local elections in many major cities, including Vienna, but the new change would apply for all elections nationally. Lowering the voting age has been suggested as a way to counterbalance the views of an increasingly aging population.

Corporal Punishment Ban Introduced in California

Some forms of corporal punishment may soon be a thing of the past if a new bill introduced in the California legislature is successful. Introduced by California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, the bill will make spanking in any form or fashion of a child up to age 4 a misdemeanor. Spanking also sends the message that violence is an acceptable tool to get what you want in life, a message that is internalized and leads to violent behavior among youth as they age. Many advocates of this bill point out the inequality of our current system that allows a small child to be physically hit, when such “good discipline” is outlawed for employees, spouses, inmates, and all other adults in society.

News from the Web

Teacher Porn Conviction Sparks Tech Debate

Couple gets 2 years in “caged kids” case

Why are Dutch children so happy?

Equal lack of opportunity: Global job market squeezes the old and the young

Smoking in a Movie? RATED R!

Schools must block MySpace, many other sites

Amendment plan would let 18-year-olds in legislature

Bill would lower voting age to 16

11 suspended for cyber-bullying

Teens convicted for exploiting… themselves

Couple charged with having sex in front of child

Watkins Glen Students Start New Clubs

Spanking to be outlawed?

Study finds young MySpace users not as dumb as parents think

What killed boomers in ’60s kills them now

Student vote on board likely

Growing worldwide teen boom could fuel a dangerous generation gap

Into politics, but no vote

Study says ageism affects young and old

Girls charged with conspiring to kill classmates, Oprah
Senator Wants Restrictions on Social Networking Sites

Florida Teen Gets $35K in Topless Lawsuit

Lunchtime rule at Catholic school: No chatting

Army vets give arm & leg – but can’t get drink

Three quarters of Finns reject giving vote to 16-yr-olds

Thompson teen, parents take youth curfew to court

Leaving children in cars OK to many

More Than MLK’s Words And Dreams

Many in Senate Back Mandatory HPV Vaccination

MySpace Tracker Tracks Teens

3 Pregnant Teens Accused in Utah Attack

Orange County May Consider Teen Curfew

Pitt-J’town Cracks Down On Drinking With New Party Rules

Software monitors children online

Austrians Split on Voting at Age 16 Plan

Lawmakers to ponder bill on voting rights for student member of school board


Not only is NYRA mobilizing on new fronts, the country – and indeed the world is a buzz with youth rights news. A bill to lower the voting age to 16 in Austria and Minnesota. Voting rights for student school board members in Maryland. Colorado is considering lowering the age to run for office, and California may soon ban some forms of corporal punishment. It isn’t all good news however. Attacks on social networking sites such as MySpace are increasing, curfew laws are multiplying, and teens continue to be victimized by overzealous authorities. Only a strong, active NYRA can defend the rights teens currently have, and secure the rights we are denied but so desperately need. Starting March 1, the 3rd Annual NYRAthon begins. This is your chance to do your part to make NYRA the strong national organization this nation needs.