NYPD Rescinds Anti-Free Speech Policy At City Schools

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According to the New York City Independent Media Center, counter-recruitment activists have won the right to hand out anti-recruitment literature in front of the city’s public schools without fear of arrest.

This is a result of a lawsuit brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of student activists working with the Ya-Ya Network. In October, 2003 police threatened to arrest a group of Ya-Ya activists for handing out information to students informing them on how to block school officials from giving away personal information on the students to military recruiters.

The lawsuit had been scheduled to go to trial this month but the NYPD has agreed out of court to rescind the policy that had barred all leafletting, petition-gathering, press conferences, picketing, and other First Amendment activity on public sidewalks in front of schools.

“As the public controversy over military recruiting in schools intensifies, it is particularly important that students have access to facts which are not included in the recruiters’ sales pitch,” said Ya-Ya Network Executive Director Amy Wagner. “So long as recruiters are given free access to students inside of schools, we must have free access to students outside of schools.”

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