NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229

Volume 3, Issue 7

August 6, 2003


Peacefire Wins Battle Against Censorship
Election/Meeting Reminder
New Tax Status
Website Updates
International Democratic Education Conference News From The Web
Chapter News


July was a slow month for Youth Rights. However, after looking at all of the candidates for the next board of directors, I am confident that the coming year will be the best NYRA has ever seen.We will soon be doing some serious fundraising, expect great things in the coming months.

Peacefire Wins Battle Against Censorship

For the world’s Young people to educate themselves, and for the Youth to be free in the world today, they must not be restricted by authoritarian censorship in any medium, including the Internet. Lately politicians and parents have passed legislation and created programs that restrict what materials Young people can and cannot view online. Peacefire is an organization that has changed all of that.

Peacefire is an organization that has long fought for the right of the youth to access material on the web, free from any sort of ageist censorware. Peacefire’s leader, and NYRA Advisory Board member, Bennett Hasselton, has invented a wonderful program called “Circumventor” that can get around any and all of “parental controls” that are out there today. It works at schools and libraries as well as at home.

This ingenious program creates a “site mirror” that is not blocked by the censorware. The program was developed by Bennett after being hired by the US Government to create a tool to defeat government censorship in China. Bennett has made the program available for youth to defeat government censorship in the United States.

Peacefire’s website, which has made circumventor free for all who want it, can be found here: www.peacefire.org

Election/Meeting Reminder

NYRA’s election ends on August 9th, but you still have time to upgrade your membership and vote. While I am sure that no matter how the election turns out the 03-04 board of directors will be the best ever, it is still important to upgrade and vote, and since the pool of eligible voters is so limited, every vote counts. NYRA has created an election page with information about the candidates, attendance records from past BOD meetings, transcripts of past BOD meetings, and of course, an online ballot for full members. The candidates are listed below:

Christopher Coes
Laura Finstad
Rich Jahn
Jason Kende
Alex Koroknay-Palicz
DeWarren Langley
Johnathan McClure
Kathleen Miller
Jack Ternan Jr.
Cory Withers
Brad White

The election page is linked here: http://www.youthrights.org/election.shtml

Remember, voting ends with the general election on August 9th, so hurry up and cast your vote.

NYRA’s general election will take place in room 245 of the Mary Graydon Center at American University in Washington, DC, on August 9th at 2:30 PM. All members are invited to attend. This is a great chance to meet some of the wonderful people who run NYRA, hear the annual report, and get the election results as they come in. Free housing and food will be provided for those who travel long distances. It may be possible for members who cannot make the trip to teleconference. Email to RSVP.

New Tax Status

To lead a successful movement, one needs money. Fundraising has long been an obstacle for NYRA and we are now one important step closer to obtaining large grants and donations.

NYRA has mailed its 501c3 forms to the IRS. 501c3 tax status means that all donations made to NYRA will be tax deductible and we can start bringing in serious money. This is the first step toward having a paid staff, an office, etc. Unfortunately, it also means that we have to be mindful of how much lobbying we do. If we spend more than 20% of our time and resources lobbying, we are converted to 501c4 status, which does not recognize us as a tax deductible charity organization.

NYRA has had a very difficult time completing these forms since we have been incorporated in 1998. Now we must wait for IRS approval, we should hear back in 3 months, if successful the future looks bright indeed.

Web Page Expansion

Essay, “Age Lines” added to research section
Essay, “Three Types of Youth Liberation” added to research section
Record of Board Attendance Added
Meeting Minutes from 02-03 Board added to BOD page
Election Page Updated and added

International Democratic Education Conference

NYRA President, Alex Koroknay-Palicz, and NYRA-DC President Laura Finstad attended the 2003 International Democratic Education Conference in Troy, NY. After 11 successful years, the IDEC conference came to the United States for the first time this year. For a week in mid-July IDEC was the epicenter of the free school movement, hosting 500 practitioners and proponents of free schools, unschooling, democratic schools, Sudbury schools, and homeschooling.

Koroknay-Palicz co-presented a workshop entitled “From Free Schools to Free Youth: An Introduction to the Youth Rights Movement” with NYRA’s German counterpart, K.R.A.T.Z.A. The workshop was successful and many people joined and expressed an interest in forming a NYRA chapter. The IDEC conference was host to a mini-Youth Rights sub-conference as representatives from ASFAR, KRATZA, and NYRA met and discussed their different experiences.

News From the Web

News from The Web features links to other Youth Rights articles on NYRA’s website.

http://www.theitem.com/CityDesk/030620c_news.cfm – After 37-year-old kills, youth curfew sought

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-superintendent-test,0,2869130.story?coll=sns-ap-nation-headlines – Massachusetts School Superintendent Fails Test

http://www.wral.com/news/2355078/detail.html – Siler City Teen Seeks Historic Run

http://www.canada.com/ottawa/story.asp?id=C0D065BA-4319-44FE-A13E-BD3649038459 – Help more, criticize less, youths say

http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/SITE/data/html_dir/2003/07/21/200307210046.asp – Panel Seeks to lower voting age to 19 in S Korea

http://www.gulflive.com/mississippi/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/base/news/105731372531560.xml – AG: Bethel boys physically, mentally abused

http://www.fightingbob.com/article.cfm?articleID=66 – Voting young

http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/politics.cfm?id=768562003 – Young people’s interest in UK politics may pay off with vote for 16-year-olds

http://www.gazette.net/200327/takoma/news/165806-1.html – Campaigning for the right to vote

If you would like to get your Youth Rights news on a more regular basis, and don’t want to wait for “NYRA Freedom” each month, then check out NYRA’s acclaimed website at www.youthrights.org. News links are updated almost daily. Also sign up for NYRA’s regional discussion lists by e-mailing Rich Jahn.

Chapter News

New chapters are forming in several places around the country. Most promising include chapters in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Long Island New York, and Baltimore. Our encouragement goes out to Nate Gosselin, Stevie Nabors, Jacob Dixon, and Alicia Edwards, the respective leaders of the above chapters now in development.

The Chapter Formation and Advisory Office welcomes John Whitehurst as its newest regional representative. Hailing from Alabama, John is already getting to work on establishing new chapters and a revision of the chapter handbook.

All individuals interested in forming local NYRA chapters are encouraged to contact DeWarren Langley.


While there is no overwhelming amount of great news to report, there is enough to give me confidence that there will be more in the future. NYRA is on the verge of great accomplishments.