Tuesday, 13 May 2008

What is a right?

Answer this question in one short sentence, one word would do it.

We had an in-service day at work last Tuesday, now these can be a really good chance to get things done, or a day to get given all the horrible jobs to do.
Fortunately it was a mixed day and the most thought provoking part was our visit from a UNICEF representative. As a school we have many groups for the children to be involved in, Pupil Council, Eco Council, Snag group, School Travel plan and our newest one, the Rights Respecting School group.
I was really lucky to be asked to run the group with one of the teachers. So, on Tuesday we had a chance to talk to all the staff about rights and responsibility. He came out with some shocking figures and sadly the UK is one of the worst places to be in the developed world as a child.

How can this be? We have free health care, a state benefit system, a good standard of education, yet we are going seriously wrong somewhere.
I was brought up by parents who had been children during WWII, my Dad and I were talking about how most of the youth at the time were being brought up in single parent families as the Fathers were doing their bit for the war effort. In fact one of the facts given to us was that Holland is the best place to be as a child growing up, and incidentally, they have a high percentage of single parents.

Our group is hoping to enable the children, staff and community to respect each other, know our basic rights and the responsibilities that come with it. It will be a long journey, but one that will hopefully change some attitudes.

Patience and understanding, rather than fiery tempers and the want want want of young people is what we need to see more of.

Oh by the way a right is a need. plain and simple, do you need water - yes
do you need that new pair of shoes that you adore - NO! that's a want and we all have too many of them.


Sylvie said...

Very thought provoking stuff, Angela.

Raquel said...

Very thought provoking, indeed. It is the same here in America, they all feel like everyone owes them a living. Great post.

Marie said...

You are so right Angela. Kids to day don't seem to have any respect . . . not for others, not for themselves, and not for authority. I only hope it's not too late to turn it all around!

Sue said...

Food for thought Angela and quite shocking to learn the U.K. is one of the worst countries to bring up children. That dismays me as I have 2 grand-children there.