NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229
Volume 10, Issue 4
April 22, 2010
Editors: Emily Sanders, Julian Gutierrez and Lu Wang
Publisher: David Moss


– Introduction – The First Annual National Youth Rights Day was a Success! – Welcome Aboard NYRA-Austin Peeps4Change! – The Board Election is Coming, Are You Ready? – NYRA is Hiring an Outreach Director! – #16tovote Campaign Enters Third Month – Calendar – NYRA Blog Updates – News From the Web – Conclusion


As we edge closer to summer and the brief solace from school it brings many of our youth members, we continue to implement new outreach programs aimed at increasing our youth membership and exposure. Our #16tovote Twitter campaign, spearheaded by NYRA secretary and Board member Katrina Moncure, is drawing an increasing number of supporters, and with it, an increasing awareness of our activities. Our staff expansion campaign continues as we look to the recruitment of an outreach director at our headquarters in the nation’s capital. And the increasing closeness of our summertime annual meeting in Boca Raton means that an annual Board election is on it’s way.
What we hope will be a significant aspect of our activity in years to come, however, is the inauguration and first celebration of National Youth Rights Day, a day dedicated to youth and youth rights, that we someday hope to see stand among the other great civil rights holidays in existence. Developed in late 2009, and first celebrated this month, National Youth Rights Day is the brainchild of NYRA Executive Director Alex Koroknay-Palicz and psychologist and youth rights theorist Dr. Robert Epstein. It is only fitting that the premier youth rights organization in the country be the flagship in the development and promotion of this holiday, particularly in partnership with one of the most dedicated and prominent advocates of our agenda. The new edition of Dr. Epstein’s book, Youth2.0, required reading for any advocate of youth rights has just hit shelves. Be sure to pick up your copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Teen-2-0-Children-Families-Adolescence/dp/1884995594
We are pleased to share with the general membership of the organization this month’s developments.

The First Annual National Youth Rights Day was a Success!

We are pleased to have received a number of sponsoring member organizations for our first celebration of National Youth Rights Day, as well as future annual events to come, 16 groups altogether. The most successful and prominent live event occurred at our headquarters in Washington D.C. The local celebration featured a Prohibition Party, held at Stetson’s famous bar on April 14th. The event attracted more than 30 people and we successfully raised $300, including all raffle ticket sales and donations.
Because of the discriminatory drinking age, President Jeffery Nadel was unable to join us at the event but he managed to make a speech via G-chat. During his five-minute speech, Jeff stressed the injustice of regarding young people “as chattel, as individuals incapable of thinking for themselves, defending themselves, or making decisions for themselves.”
“We have created a tradition. Like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, there is now one day, set aside from the vast calendar, to commemorate young people, to acknowledge my generation,” said Jeff.
At the end of his speech, Jeff persuaded everyone to close their eyes and try to remember what it was like to be young so that one would not “forget the experience of youth”. Afterwards, Jeff stayed for a discussion with guests and exchanged their thoughts on youth rights.
But DC’s event wasn’t the only thing happening on National Youth Rights Day, newly formed NYRA-Austin: Peeps4Change hit the streets to get the word out. Chapter members went downtown till the early morning passing out flyers, talking to people about youth rights and even singing about youth rights through the streets. Chapter members made and wore NYRA t-shirts and had a wonderful time promoting the cause.
NYRA board member Jackie Ferro and NYRA-Nanuet: Teen Suffrage Organization marked National Youth Rights Day by wearing arm bands to school. The arm bands were in honor of Mary Beth & John Tinker whose arm bands in the 60’s led to the landmark Tinker vs. Des Moines Supreme Court case which was a huge victory for student free speech rights. Members in Stockton, California are planning a rally in the coming days to mark Youth Rights Day as well. Linsday Coley wrote an op-ed about NYRD that got published in the Daily Collegian. Many members around the country also participated in their own ways. If you did something, please let us know! Send an e-mail to nyra @ youthrights.org with the story of your NYRD activity!
Read Lindsay’s article here: http://dailycollegian.com/2010/04/12/youth-are-people-too/
This year’s events started small, as all things do. We are optimistic that the years to come will feature the eventual development of the holiday and its meaning into an issue of national prominence. Please stay tuned to developments about NYRD here: http://www.nationalyouthrightsday.org

Welcome Aboard NYRA-Austin Peeps4Change!

NYRA is pleased to welcome our newest chapter, NYRA-Austin: Peeps 4 Change. Based in Texas, this chapter is NYRA’s first chapter led by a mother-son team. Co-founders Shanda & Dalton Scott intend for the chapter to work to ensure students get fair treatment and a free and appropriate public education in Williamson County, Texas. One of the reasons the Scott’s became interested in youth rights is due to an ongoing battle with the Round Rock Independent School District to get Dalton the services he needs and have his rights respected in school.
“Over the last few years my son has been harassed, threatened, and driven out of school. He wants to learn but the school refuses to teach him. We hope that this chapter can shine some light onto the abuses and neglect that is occurring in our schools. Once young people and families start seeing a glimmer of hope they will come out and speak out alongside us.” said Shanda Scott.
The chapter is also hoping to use the current flap over new textbook standards in Texas to highlight the lack of youth voice in the process. If the voting age were lowered and young people were involved then perhaps their education wouldn’t be a political football for adult decision makers to fight over.
Visit the chapter on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/PeePs4_Change/293987768746
And on the web here: http://austin.youthrights.org

The Board Election is Coming, Are You Ready?

NYRA’s annual Board of Directors election is quickly approaching, with the 2010 NYRA annual meeting in Boca Raton, Florida soon to be upon us. More details about the annual meeting will be announced soon, but please start making plans now to attend. The event is your best time to meet fellow NYRA members face-to-face, so come down to Florida on August 7th & 8th. The election starts July 7 and only dues paying members can vote or run for the board. Interested parties should ensure that they fulfill the eligibility requirement, which is paid membership for the year that they intend to serve, which only costs ten dollars.
You can pay your dues here: http://www.youthrights.org/donate.php
Not sure what it means to be a board member? Not sure what it takes? NYRA has a nine person board of directors who are elected each year by the NYRA membership. The board is responsible for attending monthly meetings, setting all official policy for the organization, providing oversight over all campaigns and decisions the organization makes, personally assisting with the organization’s fundraising, and pitching in to help out wherever needed. Candidates should be passionate about youth rights, have time available to commit to the position, and devoted to doing what it takes to help this organization succeed.
To run for the board you must declare your intent to run by June 1. Voting begins July 7 and ends August 7 in Florida. If you would like to run for the Board, all you have to do is send an e-mail stating your intention to do so to nyra @ youthrights.org.

NYRA is Hiring an Outreach Director!

In October NYRA hired David Moss as our Director of Development and Operations, now we are looking to hire an Outreach Director. NYRA is continuing to expand and grow, having a third staff member in our national office will result in a dramatic increase in the amount of good work this organization is able to do for the rights of youth. The staff and board are interviewing candidates now and hope to make a decision in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
When hired the Outreach Director will fill a critical need for the organization and work exclusively to build new chapters, help chapters with their campaigns, and grow NYRA’s grassroots presence. Chapters have always been our strength and our greatest source of potential. Having a full time person devoted to tapping that potential will lead to an exponential growth in our base and our ability to create change.
You can find a link to the job description here: http://www.idealist.org/if/i/en/av/Job/371979-185/c

#16tovote Campaign Enters Third Month

The third month of our awareness-raising 16 to vote campaign on Twitter has continued with an increasing number of “Tweeters” following our page and Tweeting our cause to their own followers. On the sixteenth of every month (with the most recent thus being April 16), various short reasons, links, and brief stories in support of lowering the voting age are Tweeted with the tag #16tovote, encouraging those following NYRA to do the same, which is intended to lead to a chain effect of followers of their own respective pages doing so in turn, and so on and so forth. The purpose of activity on Twitter is the ease, convenience, and speed of instant communication on the site. While not intended as a soapbox for lengthy proclamations because of the site’s character (and character limits, as you type), campaigns there have proven to spread relatively quickly, with introduction to and perhaps greater awareness of NYRA and the issues we promote being the result. For the third straight m onth the number of total tweets and retweets has risen. The first month there were 70 total, last month there were 182, and in April we had whopping 199 tweets! This movement is growing and this successful campaign is evidence NYRA is tearing up Twitter!


May 3 – Informal Chat 8 pm – 12 am Eastern In the NYRA chatroom on AIM IM SciVille if you need an invite
May 16 – #16tovote on the 16th All Day Post voting age related tweets on Twitter and include the hashtag #16tovote Info here: http://forums.youthrights.org/showthread.php?20369
May 16 – Board Meeting 8 pm Eastern In the NYRA chatroom on AIM IM Alex From NYRA if you need an invite
May 18 – Informal Chat 8 pm – 12 am Eastern In the NYRA chatroom on AIM IM SciVille if you need an invite
June 1 – Deadline to Declare Board Candidacy Pay membership dues here: http://www.youthrights.org/donate.php Send an E-Mail to nyra @ youthrights.org if you intend to run
July 7 – NYRA Board Election Begins Stay tuned for details on how to vote Only dues paying members can vote, please renew here: http://www.youthrights.org/donate.php
August 7-8 – 2010 NYRA Annual Meeting Boca Raton, Florida Stay tuned for more details on the agenda and location


Constance McMillen and the Cancelled Prom
Phoebe Prince: Another Bullying Victim Suicide
Separating Ageism from Personal Growth
“#”16tovote on the 16th – April 2010


NYRA Related
Youth Are People Too
Barring Minors From Drinking In WI Bars Up For Vote
State Assembly to Consider Nearly 100 Bills Thursday

Other News
Miss. prom canceled after lesbian’s date request
‘Big Brother’ watches Sacramento Valley students
Detention for Wearing Breast Cancer Bracelet
Mom and dad, stop stifling me – it’s damaging my brain
Parents Angry Over CCTV In School Toilets
Parent notification policies for underage drinking evolve
Cheaters Never Win, at Least in Physics
Spain OKs new abortion law, angers church
3rd Circuit Bars Child Porn Prosecution of Teen in Sexting Photo
Clinic opens for children addicted to video games and the internet
Ypsilanti High School student tasered after refusing to go to the principal’s office
Quit it with the teen trashing
Girls ordered to spend weekends with sex offender father
Connecticut bill would lessen teen “sexting” charge
School Suspensions Lead to Legal Challenge
Refusing To Hear Nurre Case, U.S. Supreme Court Lets Stand Ban On Instrumental ‘Ave Maria’
Prodigy, 13, claims age discrimination by UConn
11-year-old girl arrested for throwing toy gun at dad
Abortion referral puts spotlight on school-based health centers
Give teenagers the vote to help bring down social divide
High School’s ‘new girl,’ driven to suicide by teenage cyber bullies
Duke restores pro-life group’s free speech rights
U. S. Senate Considering Modification to Constitution
Teacher’s Confiscation of Student’s Cell Phone Upheld
Voting rights urged for 16 and 17 year olds in UK
13-Year-Old Boy to Attempt Everest Summit
Constance goes to prom, but most of her classmates go to another one
Senior Suspended For Skimpy Prom Dress
DA to teachers: New sex ed course could get you arrested
16 Year Old Accuses Mom of Facebook Slander
DA to teachers: New sex ed course could get you arrested
Study: Spanking Kids Leads to More Aggressive Behavior
No graduation ceremony for sleepy teen
Obama’s limit time first daughters spend online
City Brings Back Paddling
Online Privacy Actually Does Matter To Youth: STUDY
School Lunches Are National Security Threat, Retired Military Officers Say


We continue to look forward from this month to the staff and board expansion that we hope to see coming in the near future. National Youth Rights Day will someday be more than a small celebration for those in the know, our chapters program will continue to multiply with our membership, and our most integral aim of lowering the voting age will someday come to fruition. The continued support of our general membership will continue to be the most important mechanism for ensuring that we reach those points.