High School Students Craft Legislation To Open Up Civil Rights Era Files

House Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection subcommittee Chairman Rep. Bobby Rush, D- Ill. presides over the subcommittee's hearing on the markup of The College Football Playoffs Act, H.R. 390, for a BCS college football playoff system, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Rep. Bobby Rush Evan Vucci / AP Photo
House Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection subcommittee Chairman Rep. Bobby Rush, D- Ill. presides over the subcommittee's hearing on the markup of The College Football Playoffs Act, H.R. 390, for a BCS college football playoff system, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Rep. Bobby Rush Evan Vucci / AP Photo

High School Students Craft Legislation To Open Up Civil Rights Era Files

Illinois U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush is moving forward with legislation drawn up by a high school civics class in New Jersey. 

The Advance Placement U.S. Government and Politics class led by Stuart Wexler wanted to make it easier to get information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. And they were frustrated that often information was heavily redacted. 

Joshua Fayer is a senior at Hightstown High School and one of the students who helped to draft the legislation.

“The law itself would create an independent review board to facilitate the release of cold case documents,” Fayer said. “(Right now) the only way you can obtain documents is through a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request.” 

Illinois U.S. Representative Bobby Rush is now sponsoring legislation written by the class. It’s called the Civil Rights Cold Case Collections Act of 2016.

Yolanda Perdomo is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her @yolandanews