National Youth Rights Day
Even though the U.S. Constitution refers to “persons,” not adults, America's young people are often denied basic constitutional rights in juvenile courts. No matter how competent or mature they are, young people are routinely subjected to medical and psychiatric treatments against their will. Even though young American men and women are responsible enough to put themselves in the line of fire in Iraq and Afghanistan, they can't drink alcohol. No matter how much they want to work and how poorly suited they might be for school, they are forced to attend school, where many learn to hate education, and schools now often resemble minimum-security prisons. No matter how politically active they are or how much they pay in taxes, young people can't vote or run for office.
New research suggests that more than seven million teens under 18 are more competent than half of the adult population across a wide range of abilities. Research also shows that teens in the U.S. are subjected to 10 times as many restrictions as mainstream adults and to twice as many restrictions as active-duty U.S. Marines and incarcerated felons.
The time has come to recognize the extraordinary abilities of our young and to stop treating them all the same—as if they are all equally incompetent and irresponsible children.
NATIONAL YOUTH RIGHTS DAY will be an annual event celebrating our nation's young people and looking forward to the time when:
* Young people are judged not by their age but by their abilities.
* Young people are afforded basic rights commensurate with their abilities.
* Young people are guaranteed equal treatment under the law..
More information will be posted soon about this world-changing project. Meanwhile, if you would like to sign on as a Supporter or Founding Sponsor of National Youth Rights Day, please write Alex at akpalicz@NationalYouthRightsDay.org. We also need volunteers to help bring this day to life.
Alex Koroknay-Palicz and Robert Epstein, Ph.D.
Co-Founders, National Youth Rights Day
P.S: If you would like more information about either of us and about our dedication to youth rights, please visit any of the following:
National Youth Rights Association | Teen 2.0
The Young Person's Bill of Rights | Join us on FACEBOOK!
This website, which is still under development, was designed by 16-year-old Jeffrey Nadel, President of the National Youth Rights Association.