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Should We Teach Human Rights and Civil Liberties in the Classroom? | Herbert AdamsWe are all born free and equal, but do young students have a firm understanding of individual human rights, freedom, and rights to protection?

It should go without saying that no matter a person’s nationality, religion, or race, there should be an inarguable understanding that all peoples inherit the right to own property, to personally practice religion, or express thoughts freely without having those rights violated. There are several ways to invite young people to understand human rights better, but it all begins with carrying out educated conversations about diversity and inclusion.

Conversing with young people about equality and human rights is the first step when tackling identity-based or prejudice-based bullying. More than that, teaching young to respect another’s disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion or belief or sexual orientation, protects their rights. It’s essential that young people know that while all people are fundamentally the same, individuals are different and deserve respect. Those difference should be acknowledged, addressed, and understood, which could weaken the motivation of bullies who function to discomfort those who are slightly different.

Read on to learn ways we might teach young people to respect the human rights of their friends and neighbors, which will make them better and more responsible citizens in the future:

Create a Pen Pal program: Help young people to understand the world around them by asking to be curious about communities in other places. Writing letters to young people in other nations can be a terrific opportunity to grow their knowledge of the world and creating interpersonal bonds that can last for a long while.

Teach about language: We know that different individuals across the world speak many languages. Highlighting the beauty of different languages is essential. There are countless words in the English words taken other from other languages, and vice versa.

Prepare food: Educators and parents can host food events centered around different recipes, representing different cultures! We can all learn so much about a culture, by learning what they eat. As we discover new information about taste, texture, flavor, and spice, we also see commonalities. Additionally, we learn a bit about history. You can often track migration patterns when reviewing ingredients that are popular among seemingly different countries. If we learn more about the food that others eat, there will be a greater willingness to try new foods and less judgment when someone in the cafeteria eats something that’s just a bit “strange.”

Students could also create a tapestry or collage featuring words and images that speak to the value and importance of freedom. If you have other thoughts about what an educator or a parent might do to help young people better understand human rights, please share!