Friday, October 18, 2013

Truth and the Law by Meldon D. Jenkins-Jones, RPL Law Librarian with Intern God Dyhu Harrison

Did Trayvon Martin have a right to stand his ground? Did it make a difference? Unfortunately we may never know the answers in that circumstance. However, questions concerning the legal rights and responsibilities of teenagers here in Virginia will be addressed at the “Teen Legal Empowerment” discussion led by  Richmond Attorney Charles H. Schmidt, Jr. and sponsored by the Richmond Public Law Library and the People’s Law of Richmond, PLLC, at the Main Library on Monday, October 21st at 4:30 pm. Attorney Schmidt will address questions like “Can I be searched on Campus?” “Can a Security guard go through my belongings at work?” “Can a boss fire me for what I say on twitter?” “What right to privacy do I have while driving my car?” and “Do I have to answer questions if stopped by the police?” As teens become adults they must know their basic rights and responsibilities as they will face pressures and decisions that could put them in contact with police and authority figures for maybe their first time. Knowledge of the law is power; come learn what your rights and responsibilities are at the third installment of the Community Law Series.
Here’s what the book jackets say about a couple of books you can check out from RPL about teen legal rights:
“What Are My Rights? Q & A about Teens and the Law” Judge Thomas A. Jacobs answers over 100 questions that teens often have about the law, but don’t know where to turn to for the answers. The third edition includes new facts, and updated statistics, and has a new chapter about online issues including Facebook. Judge Jacobs uses a straightforward “just the facts” tone, and uses real-life court cases involving young people. This book encourages young readers to learn about the laws that affect them, to appreciate their rights, and to consider their legal responsibilities.

Also by Thomas A. Jacobs, “Teens on Trial: Young People Who Challenged the Law – and
Changed Your Life” discusses the court cases involving 21 legal issues affecting teens. It includes a section on Understanding the Law, which answers questions about the Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitution and includes a copy of the Bill of Rights and a thorough section on how to do legal research. The second part of the book includes the citations for the main trials discussed for further research. It covers such current issues as censorship of school newspapers, sexual harassment at school or work, privacy rights, obtaining an abortion without parental consent, and freedom of expression at school and includes questions for further discussion and study.  The library also has a book by Judge Jacobs on another hot topic, online bullying, “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated: Where do your Rights end and Consequences Begin?”

Here are a few informative websites that may interest teens and their parents:
The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) advances public safety for educational institutions by providing educational resources, advocacy, and professional development services. IACLEA is the leading voice for the campus public safety community.
This link leads you to an article about social media and its new legal risks in the workplace, including cyber bullying and online harassment, perils of Facebook friending, online gripes by employees, privacy rights, and protecting confidential information.
This link leads you to a summary of the law concerning driver restrictions for teens in the state of Virginia, including curfew restrictions, restrictions on the number of passengers, and cellular telephone/wireless telecommunications device restrictions to name a few.
This site gives a couple of useful tips concerning interactions with the police. This article uses yearly statistics on the number of cases involving any type of police brutality.

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