NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229
Volume 9, Issue 3
March 13, 2009
Editors: Lexi Johnson and Justin Graham

Table of Contents

– Introduction
– Help NYRA Win $10,000!
– Action Teams Leaderboards Are Up; Are You on Them?
– More Success for Student Rights Union
– 16 to Vote in Florida?
– Recent NYRA Blog Entries
– News from the Web
– Conclusion


NYRA chapters continue to take a stand for youth rights across the country. Among them, NYRA of Southeast Florida’s voting age proposal is gaining steam and the Zionsville Student Rights Union in Indiana is bringing about changes to their school’s student handbook, and is working on other projects. This is inspiring activism. You can help NYRA do more of it by donating for the 2009 NYRAthon, forming your own chapter or helping out one of our action teams!

Help NYRA Win $10,000!

The 2009 NYRAthon is here, and this year’s NYRAthon brings a chance for the organization to win $10,000! Razoo.com, a fundraising website for nonprofits, is holding a contest to see which nonprofit organization can raise funds from the greatest number of donors during the month of March. The winning organization wins $10,000. Even the second place nonprofit wins $3,000.
This competition is a great opportunity for NYRA to raise the money that we need to continue fighting to lower the voting age, lower the drinking age, end discrimination against youth in business and government, repeal discriminatory youth curfews, and more. What matters for the competition is the number of individual donors, not the amount donated, so a donation of only $10 can help NYRA win $10,000!
In addition, when donating to NYRA on Razoo, you can schedule recurring donations to be given automatically at the frequency you specify. Frequencies for repeating donations range from weekly to annually. Every donor who sets up a recurring donation for this contest enters NYRA into a random drawing to win a $500 grant. So donating only $10 to NYRA through Razoo and scheduling your donation to recur only once per year not only can help win NYRA $10,000, but gives us the opportunity to win a $500 drawing as well.
NYRA needs your help to continue fighting for the rights of youth across the country. Please make a donation for NYRAthon 2009 to help NYRA remain a strong advocate for youth rights.
Donate to NYRA here:
See how we’re doing by viewing the standings here:

Action Teams Leaderboards Are Up; Are You on Them?

NYRA’s Action Teams have been going strong since January, and the teams leaderboards for the first two months of 2009 have been posted to the NYRA Forums! Action Teams are a way for everyone, including those who don’t have much time or money, or who live far away from an established NYRA chapter and aren’t able to create their own, to help NYRA and the cause of youth rights in concrete ways by taking simple actions such as making edits to the Youth Rights Network, sending pro-youth letters to politicians and businesses, writing posts for NYRA’s blog and making a small donation to NYRA.
The Action Teams have seen a lot of activity in the past two months, and you can help this project achieve even more.
To read more about and join NYRA’s Action Teams, go here:
To see the overall leaderboard for the first two months of 2009, go here:
Individual leaderboards for the Blog, Research and Letter-Writing Teams are also up:
Blog Team:
Research Team:
Letter-Writing Team:

More Success for Student Rights Union

The Zionsville Student Rights Union in central Indiana has certainly not been taking a break from their work for student rights, and continues to make progress. Most of the changes the ZSRU proposed for the student handbook at their school, including changes protecting students’ rights under the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, have been accepted by the school’s Handbook committee. The ZSRU is also working to form chapters at Indiana University and Purdue University, and in Indianapolis.
Also, the Union is currently working to stop a push by the school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter to introduce random drug testing for students. ZSRU Chairman Steve Ross says that there are better ways than random drug testing to deter youth from using drugs. The ZSRU is working with the SADD chapter on alternative proposals, including fully “comprehensive and honest” drug education, but is prepared to fight against random drug testing at a town hall meeting in April if SADD continues to push for it. Ross hopes that a comprehensive drug education program would satisfy SADD’s goal of protecting students’ safety while also protecting the Fourth Amendment and its prohibition of unreasonable searches.
In addition, Ross has received a $12,500 scholarship from the American Civil Liberties Union for his student rights activism. The scholarship, the ACLU Youth Activist Scholarship, also includes a trip to ACLU headquarters in New York for leadership training. “It’s a good feeling to be so prestigiously recognized for the work I care most about,” Ross told NYRA Freedom.
Visit the Zionsville Student Rights Union’s website here:

16 to Vote in Florida?

NYRA of Southeast Florida is also pushing hard for youth rights; their proposal to lower the voting age to 16 in Florida is moving closer to becoming reality. The chapter is currently working with legislators in order to gain support for lowering the voting age. According to chapter president Jeffrey Nadel, their proposal has been sent to bill drafting, which will create an actual bill that will then be available for sponsorship by representatives.
A member of the Democratic leadership, in addition to being very supportive in general and planning to speak with other representatives about the issue, has also offered help with finding a legislative sponsor for the bill. NYRA-SEFL plans to travel to Tallahassee, Florida’s capital, during their spring break in order to meet with legislative leaders and gain more support for youth suffrage.
The chapter is also continuing its fight against the youth curfew in West Palm Beach. This past Monday, Nadel and chapter member Zach Goodman argued before the city commission that the curfew is an unconstitutional restriction on the right of assembly.
Visit NYRA of Southeast Florida’s website here:
Read news publicity about NYRA-SEFL’s curfew fight here:

Recent NYRA Blog Entries

The delay between the inarguable and the acted-upon
Voices Unheard – A This I Believe essay
Common Knowledge
Childhood Intelligence

News from the Web

— NYRA-Related News —
Youth group’s pleas fail to sway West Palm Beach to drop curfew
Teenage legal eagles take on WPB
Suffrage for teens
Rocking the Vote

— Other News —
Why are we fingerprinting children?
Teen Sailing Globe Eyes World Record
State officials: No pattern of abuse at youth camp
Backers hope teen bill not in rearview mirror
Assembly approves ‘Kyleigh’s Law,’ strict rules for teen drivers, in unanimous vote
Bethel lawmaker wants kids in school until 18
Crackdown on alcohol price planned
Sex Article In School Paper Causes Uproar
Education chief favors longer school year
LAPD probes drug sting run by school
Six Taft High employees reassigned over hazing allegations
Bank seeks to foreclose on Hidden Lake property
The Debate On Lowering The Drinking Age
$50,000 claim filed over girl’s time-out in school
Social websites harm children’s brains
MN Faces Idea Of Lower Drinking Age, Again
Court strikes down California video game law
Library Board Votes to Restrict Access to Sex-Themed Books
Student Arrested For Classroom Texting
Local CVS Store Looks to Ban School Children
Dirt Bikes for kids soon to be illegal


NYRA has a great opportunity for growth this month with Razoo and the 2009 NYRAthon. With a donation of only $10, you can help NYRA win $10,000, money that we can use to create more meaningful youth rights activism like we continue to see from active chapters every month. Go to NYRA’s fundraising page on Razoo (http://www.razoo.com/widgets/87 ) to participate in the NYRAthon. You can also contribute to the growing activity of NYRA’s action teams (go to http://www.youthrights.org/actionteams.php to join them). NYRA looks forward to continued growth and success in 2009.