NYRA Freedom

ISSN 1933-5229
Volume 9, Issue 9
December 21, 2009
Editors: Lexi Johnson and Julian Gutierrez

Table of Contents

– Introduction
– Calendar
– NYRA Wins $25,000!!!
– NYRA Speaks Out Against Distracted Driving Bill
– Want to Help Write NYRA Freedom? Writers Needed!
– War on Kids Director on TV
– Mark Your Calendar: NYRA’s Annual Meeting Announced
– Youth Rights Book Club
– Check Out the Forums
– News from the Web
– Conclusion


This past year has held a lot of awesome opportunities for NYRA and for youth rights. NYRA-SEFL has made great strides for youth rights with their lawsuit against West Palm Beach, we hired a development director, NYRA won $25,000, and NYRA and other youth rights proponents have been making national headlines. 2009 has proven to be a wonderful year for NYRA and 2010 looks to be even better.


January 4 – Informal Chat
8 pm – 12 am Eastern
In the NYRA chatroom on AIM
IM SciVille if you need an invite

January 17 – Board Meeting
8 pm Eastern
In the NYRA chatroom on AIM
IM SciVille if you need an invite

January 19 – Informal Chat
8 pm – 12 am Eastern
In the NYRA chatroom on AIM
IM SciVille if you need an invite

NYRA Wins $25,000!!!

After a month of hard work, NYRA was honored to be included among the 100 charities to win $25,000 from Chase Community Giving, a program that is giving away $5 million to charities. Winning charities were the charities with the most votes and NYRA could not have won this money without the help of its supporters. NYRA members spoke to their friends & family, set up laptops on college campuses, and successfully got the word out about this contest. Hundreds of NYRA members contributed to achieve this victory for us. We got more than 2,000 votes in order to place within the top 100 charities. In addition to the hard work our staff, board and membership put into winning this contest NYRA benefited from close alliances and partnerships with a number of organizations. This win is a major boon for youth rights. This is the largest single donation we’ve received in our history and will help us fight for the rights of youth in many more ways than were possible before. Pound-for-p ound NYRA is one of the country’s most efficient and effective non-profits, this grant moves us up a weight-class and will go a long way toward securing the rights we are all fighting for. Since NYRA was in the top 100 we now get to move on to round 2 with a chance to win $1 million! Voting for round 2 starts on Friday, January 15, 2010.
There is no donation required to support NYRA in this contest all you have to do is vote. This contest runs through Facebook apps, in order to vote please go here, http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/1112559.
More information here, http://www.facebook.com/ChaseCommunityGiving.

NYRA Speaks Out Against Distracted Driving Bill

Recently, a bill was proposed the in Senate that seeks to ban the use of cellphones by anyone under 18 while driving. This bill is blatant age discrimination. It seeks to ban an activity from a whole portion of the population based on nothing more than the arbitrary reason of age. This article, http://thehill.com/blogs//hillicon-valley/605-technology/65433-is-distracted-driving-bill-a-form-of-age-discrimination, was written in response to NYRA’s claims that the bill is discriminatory. A video has also been posted on YouTube in protest of this bill, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3QhH51XGJo. To read more about the bill, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/65313-senate-panel-takes-up-distracted-driving-bill.
Studies show that a teenager on a cell phone has the same diminished ability to drive as a 65-year-old driver not on a cell phone. To be consistent, any bill that tries to ban teens from using cell phones while driving would need to ban the elderly from driving altogether.

Want to Help Write NYRA Freedom? Writers Needed!

This newsletter is completely volunteer written & edited, and needs your help! Are you an aspiring journalist? Want your work to go out to thousands of people every month? Want to help protect and defend the civil rights of youth from the comfort of your own home? Join the “NYRA Freedom” team! We need organized, professional folks to help write stories for this newsletter and make sure it comes out on time every month. Please e-mail nyra@youthrights.org if you are interested in helping out.

War on Kids Director on TV

The director of the documentary The War on Kids, Cevin Soling has recently appeared on television to promote his documentary. In interviews on The Colbert Report and on MSNBC he explained how public schooling has failed to teach children and showed that schools are no better than prisons. The interviews are available online here, http://www.hulu.com/watch/111737/the-colbert-report-mon-nov-30-2009 and here, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31388323/vp/34365947#34314713.

Mark Your Calendars: NYRA’s Annual Meeting Announced

The NYRA Board of Directors has officially decided that the 2010 annual meeting will be held in sunny Boca Raton, Florida, the home of our phenomenally successful Southeast Florida chapter, the weekend of August 7-8. Many specific arrangements are still forthcoming but what is already certain is that this gathering at the heart of the youth rights grassroots movement promises to be one of the most successful NYRA annual meetings in history. Hope to see you there!

Youth Rights Book Club

At the core of our activism in NYRA and the youth rights movement more generally is a wealth of rich and vibrant philosophy of a generally anti-ageist and anti-authoritarian nature. We often strive to improve our understandings of various youth rights issues and that underlying philosophy as a whole through analysis of the literature from which it is largely derived. To that end, we’ve in the past had a book club devoted to such analysis, bolstered by discussion of the books we read among participants. Our club has grown dormant, but the substantial growth that we hope to achieve in the wake of our recent fundraising victory provides an ideal opportunity for its revival. If you’re interested in joining the club, sign up at http://youthrights.org/mailman/listinfo/bookclub_youthrights.org.

Check Out the Forums

The NYRA forum has recovered from some recent downtime and is now up and running again. Unfortunately, discussion has lagged somewhat since last year’s hack of the forum, which caused a considerably longer state of downtime. If you want to help support the organization and cause, please help turn this around by posting and discussing the most important youth rights issues out there, as all members, supporters, and interested parties are welcome to visit and contribute. The forum is located at http://www.forums.youthrights.org.

News From the Web

– NYRA Related –
Youths Challenge City’s Curfew Ordinance
Charities Criticize Online Fund-Raising Contest by Chase

– Other News –
Parents, School Tangle Over Boy’s Long Locks
Ohio parents sue day care amid sleep aid probe
Official Hopes Prison Crisis May Spur Change
Internet luring now includes non-sexual chats: SCC
Outlaw child abuse in schools
Deputies use Taser on ‘out of control’ child
Calvert, MD High School Turns Students Loose at Lunch
Mum encouraged daughter to assault girl
3 of 4 Democrats running for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat say they support lowering voting age
Deputies Hold Boy Who Fled Flu Shot
US pressured to sign UN Child Rights Convention
The UN gave children rights – it’s time we consulted them
Facebook friend turns into Big Brother
Student expelled for having unloaded shotguns in truck
2 Pa. judges given partial immunity in civil suit
Health ‘reform’ that burdens our young
Teen Who Refused To See Dad Released
Teen In Detention For Not Visiting Dad
Cruise operator: Young adults bring parents
Taser gun used on 10-year-old girl who ‘refused to take shower’
Is there such a thing as school phobia?
New Jersey Teen Barred From Abortion Protest Sues School
William Byrd senior has eyes set on Vinton council seat
What’s wrong with ‘meep’? It’s all in how you say it
Mount Alvernia College bans girl for shaving head
Several Kids Arrested After Food Fight


Winning $25,000 is an immense opportunity for NYRA and it makes the coming new year look very promising. We couldn’t have won the $25,000 without your help and we cannot make 2010 a wonderful year without your help. There are many things you can do for NYRA. Starting a chapter or writing to your newspaper are great ways to help youth rights. You can also post your ideas and thoughts on youth rights at the NYRA forums for discussion. Join the book club or volunteer to help write this very newsletter! And don’t forget to vote for NYRA on January 15th! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!