NYRA member Chris Batchelor, better known to some as “Galen,” has won two decisive victories for Student’s Rights. Chris has a friend who had to do a report on the USA Patriot Act for school. When the student was told he could not use a picture of a man burning the American flag, he contacted Chris, knowing about his involvement in youth rights. Chris wrote a letter to the school’s principal, informing him that the student was well with in his rights. Chris pointed out that to censor this young man’s report in such a way was a flagrant violation of Tinker v. Des Moines, the Supreme Court ruling that constitutional rights can not be denied in public schools. While initially upset, the principal eventually agreed to let the student use the picture, and even sat in on the class to assure that the teacher did not try to stop him. In another incident, a student was given detention for circulating a petition calling for action to be taken against one of her teachers. This young woman’s punishment was clearly not in accordance with Tinker v. Des Moines. Chris wrote another letter, and the administration was forced to issue a formal apology to the aforementioned student. For his efforts, Chris Batchelor has been appointed Student Defense Coordinator. If you are subject to unfair, authoritarian treatment at your school, please send Chris an email.

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