21 November 2006

But are children human?

'The right to POO!'

Teaching a first school class of 36 all about Human Rights was never going to be easy. Emerging from the class an hour after entering, the three of us Human Rights Group representatives were shaking, slightly hysterical wrecks. The most stressful, yet hilarious hour, with even a little moral education thrown in for good measure.

The fact that by the time we arrived at the first school they had already heard that we had gone to the middle school by mistake beforehand was not the best start. They obviously thought we were nutcases. Nutcases who would be teaching young children about the rights that every human being should have. Though, on meeting the teacher before the lesson, she reassured us that although there was an autistic boy in the class, he could be removed immediately if he started heckling us. Rather naively, and more than a little foolishly, the three of us decided to split up and single handedly run a small group of the terrors. And with that, all remnants of authority or discipline were thrown out the window.

I took a rather anarchic approach to dealing with my group, therefore promoting rights to freedom of speech, free choice, and the problems of state intervention. That, and them just not paying a blind bit of notice except to ask why I was wearing a short sleeved t-shirt over a long sleeved t-shirt. If they only learnt one thing today then it was the importance of layering.

With one child expounding on the importance of medication, security and community (all written down and spelt correctly), and another shouting how everyone should have the right to fart, hairspray and trees, it was abit of amixed bag. Mind you, there's definitely some activists in the making... 'Marcie, you do letter writing don't you, to try and change the world?' An earnest nod was the reply. The same girl and discounted all the other rights being discussed for her own three, which had obviously given great thought to. To look after yourself, to look after other people, and to look after your environment. That kid'll go far.

In voting for the most important three rights we came up with, the children treated it as a competition, taking it personally if the right they had come up with wasn't voted. Liam, head in his hands, was last seen wailing 'Curse you! Curse you, whoever voted for the right to life!'


chris said...

So, what did you vote for?

Mike said...

I have my doubts about the right to hairspray. For example, bald people will lose one third of their rights; unless they spray the bald bit, which might make it all shiny. (Of course that may be better than using gel.)

But Dilbert says that good hair is the key to a successful business career, so perhaps hairspray is important.

As are free speech and farting.

anna said...

I would definitely vote for the right to cut brother's dreadlocks off when they closed the shower door YET AGAIN despite being told to leave it open EVERY TIME. Unfortunately this was not one of the options.