NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229
Volume 9, Issue 4
April 21, 2009
Editors: Justin Graham and Lexi Johnson

Table of Contents

– NYRA Files Supreme Court Brief with Three Other Orgs
– NYRA-Southeast Florida Considers Lawsuit Against Curfew Law (and more!)
– Razoo Contest Over, but NYRAthon Continues
– ZSRU’s Sleep to Succeed Project
– $10,000 for Youth Civics
– Recent NYRA Blog Entries
– News from the Web
– Conclusion

NYRA Files Supreme Court Brief with Three Other Orgs

NYRA, along with three other organizations, has submitted an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, brief to the United States Supreme Court in the case of Stafford v. Redding. Savana Redding, a 13-year-old middle school student, was strip searched by school administrators in 2003 because they suspected her of possessing ibuprofen, solely based upon the uncorroborated testimony of one other student.
NYRA collaborated with three other organizations, the Urban Justice Center, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and Advocates for Children of New York, to prepare the brief. The brief argues, in part, that the common law tradition, and more recent Fourth Amendment jurisprudence since the 1985 landmark Supreme Court decision in New Jersey v. T.L.O., restricts teacher and administrator conduct, including searches and discipline, to that which is reasonable under the circumstances, and that, for a variety of reasons, the school’s strip search of Ms. Redding was unreasonable, and therefore unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case today.
To download the amicus curiae brief, go here:

NYRA-Southeast Florida Considers Lawsuit Against Curfew Law (and more!)

NYRA’s chapter in Southeast Florida has been working for youth on multiple fronts this month. The chapter has retained prominent Boca Raton attorney Barry Silver to help fight against an unconstitutional youth curfew ordinance in West Palm Beach and is preparing to file a lawsuit in federal court against the city in the near future. The curfew, according to NYRA-SEFL president Jeffrey Nadel, is “incomprehensible and overbroad,” and Silver calls the ordinance “unconstitutionally vague” and impossible to legally enforce. The probable lawsuit comes after meetings with the city attorney, commissioners and mayor failed to convince them to rescind the ordinance.
In addition to fighting the curfew, NYRA-SEFL is also campaigning to lower the voting age in Florida to 16. Chapter representatives traveled to the state capital, Tallahassee, for two days at the end of March for a series of promising meetings with several legislators and aides to discuss youth suffrage. Most were in agreement with the idea or were receptive.
For more information on what the chapter is up to, follow them on Twitter:

Razoo Contest Over, but NYRAthon Continues

Last month’s contest on the nonprofit fundraising website Razoo.com ended on March 31. NYRA did not win the contest, and thus did not win the $10,000 grand prize, but it still raised over $1,600, a good start to 2009’s NYRAthon.
In addition to the money raised, NYRA made its Facebook advertising debut during the contest, purchasing several ads on the social networking site. The ads have been effective, and NYRA is continuing its Facebook ad campaign in an effort to garner even more supporters and donors.
The Razoo contest may be over, but the 2009 NYRAthon will continue for the next couple months. This is an excellent opportunity to promote NYRA on your favorite social networking sites, and to your friends, classmates and family. You can donate to NYRA here:

ZSRU’s Sleep to Succeed Project

The Zionsville Student Rights Union in central Indiana has recently started a project aimed at starting high school classes later and elementary classes earlier. Called the Sleep to Succeed Project, it was inspired by research, conducted by ZSRU member Erica Park, which shows that younger kids naturally go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier than young adults.
Currently in the ZSRU’s district, high school starts at 7:30 A.M. and elementary school at 9:30 A.M. The Union has already held a successful meeting with the district superintendent, and plans to go before the school board in May to propose moving the start times for both high school and elementary school to 8:30. This would give elementary students more time after school before bed, while giving high school students more time to sleep in the mornings. Union leadership also plans to meet with the PTO Council and school athletic officials to garner more support.
$10,000 for Youth Civics

A similar contest is being held on the entrepreneurial idea website ideablob.com, but you don’t have to donate to help win this one! Youth Civics 2.0, a project of NYRA’s New York City chapter, stands to win $10,000 by garnering the greatest number of votes on Ideablob. Each month, the most popular idea on the site, the one with the most votes, wins $10,000.
Youth Civics 2.0 seeks to empower youth to speak out about the issues that matter most to them, and to enable youth to participate more fully in our society and democracy. All you have to do to help fund this project is register on Ideablob (it’s free and only takes a couple minutes) and vote for Youth Civics. To vote, go here:
You can also use this tinyurl link to promote the contest on Twitter or other networks:

Recent NYRA Blog Entries

Raised to Victimize, Raised to be Victimized
Juvenile Injustice

News from the Web

— NYRA-Related News —
West Palm Mayor’s Stubbornness to Defeat Reason
Regulated US Online Gambling May Bring New Age Limits
Youth rights group aims to overturn West Palm Beach’s downtown curfew
Teen Group Challenging West Palm Beach Curfew Law

— Other News —
hot topic: lowering the drinking age
9 p.m. curfew proposed for Chesterton teens 15 and under
DeSoto Parents Sue Schools, Police for Racial Discrimination
ACLU Sues Wyoming County D.A. For Threatening Teenage Girls With Child Pornography Charges Over Photos Of Themselves
22-year-old wins Manty mayor’s race
Quebec dad sued by daughter after grounding loses his appeal
Ind. driving age increase rolls through latest stop
US schools chief says kids need more class time
‘Sexting’ lands teen on sex offender list
Police plan teen-driving checkpoints in Bergen, Union counties
Teens locked up for life without a second chance
Mom to Library: Boot ‘Gossip Girl’
Birth-Control Pill Lands Fairfax Girl 2-Week Suspension
MSU educator: Lower drinking age to curb alcohol abuse
Mass. high court to hear challenge to teen curfew
Tale of the taped: Milford student protests
Bill on new rules for Indiana teen drivers advances
Corrupt Pa. judge seeks dismissal of kids’ lawsuit
Cellphone jamming principal forced to retreat at B.C. high school
It’s your call, kid
59 arrested in bust of teen drinking parties
Federal judge blocks charges in Pa. ‘sexting’ case
Jail a Child, Get a Job: America Hates Kids Part I
Connecticut School Bans Physical Contact
Residents, Dallas City Council members spar over daytime juvenile curfew ordinance
Hundreds of Pa. juvenile convictions reversed
Bill puts teen licenses on hold
A move to drop the voting age
Report: Most states lag with dating-violence laws
Strip-Search of Girl Tests Limit of School Policy
Judge orders FDA to let 17-year-olds use Plan B
Student Banned From Bus For Breaking Wind
France puts a cork in alcohol sales to youth
Few caught by steroid testing in high school
Kennesaw passes daytime curfew for school-age kids
Lesbian sues to wear tux to prom
ACLU Urges California District to Let Kids Leave School for Medical Treatment Without Parental Consent


With NYRA’s involvement in a U.S. Supreme Court case, a likely lawsuit by a NYRA chapter over an unconstitutional youth curfew, the continuing 2009 NYRAthon, and lots of chapter activity and projects from New York to Indiana, this is certainly an eventful time. In addition to these developments, representatives from NYRA’s chapter at the University of Texas at San Antonio recently participated in a debate on the minimum drinking age, and NYRA executive director Alex Koroknay-Palicz will speak at a debate on the issue in Chicago on April 23. You can help keep all this activity going by donating for NYRAthon (http://www.youthrights.org/donate.php ), starting an active chapter in your school or community (http://www.youthrights.org/chapterform.php ) or participating in one of our action teams (http://www.youthrights.org/actionteams.php )! NYRA looks forward to helping youth make themselves heard for a long time to come.