Education A National Roundup

N.Y.C. Advocates Win Change To Allow for Leafleting Near Schools

By Ann Bradley — April 19, 2005 1 min read

The New York City Police Department has agreed to allow First Amendment-related activity on sidewalks in front of the city’s public schools.

The policy change, announced late last month, settles a federal lawsuit brought in October 2003 by the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Ya-Ya Network, which had been handing out literature outside schools reminding students of their right to keep personal information from military recruiters. The group says its members were threatened with arrest for the activity.

The police department’s policy stemmed from a state law against loitering near schools and colleges, which police officials have now been told does not apply to First Amendment-protected activities, such as passing out leaflets, gathering petitions, holding press conferences, and picketing.