The week before lockdown began we were re-awarded our GOLD status as a UNICEF Rights Respecting School for the second time which was overshadowed by the events taking place in the world and moving into lockdown.
Now seems the right time to share that amazing news with you and highlight what this means right now for our school and all young people.
As a Rights Respecting School we support, uphold and promote the Convention of The Rights of The Child and The United Nations Charter of Human Rights. We believe and we teach that all lives matter. However, at this time following the murder of George Floyd in USA by a police officer we feel it is important to state we support the BLM movement as it is a matter of human rights and black lives are in danger.
As a diverse secondary school in the UK in a multi-cultural city with students of many backgrounds, ethnicities and faiths, as well as no faith, we want all our students, staff, friends and families to know we will stand alongside you. We have always tried to tackle and stand up against racism in our school, but we know we can do better.
Through lessons, Religious Education, English and Aspiring Futures in particular, and in assemblies we have addressed these issues in the past and we will continue to do so. If you have any suggestions you would like to share with us please reach out and let us know your thoughts.
Below are a few of the children’s rights from the convention of the rights of the child which you can discuss at home:
- Article 1 (definition of the child) Everyone under the age of 18 has all the rights in the Convention.
- Article 2 (non-discrimination) The Convention applies to every child without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status, whatever they think or say, whatever their family background.
- Article 12 (respect for the views of the child) Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This right applies at all times, for example during immigration proceedings, housing decisions or the child’s day-to-day home life.
- Article 13 (freedom of expression) Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.
- Article 14 (freedom of thought, belief and religion) Every child has the right to think and believe what they choose and also to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights. Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parents to guide their child as they grow up.
- Article 30 (children from minority or indigenous groups) Every child has the right to learn and use the language, customs and religion of their family, whether or not these are shared by the majority of the people in the country where they live.
There are lots of resources and things to explore at home to prompt both learning and discussion within your household and these are a few that we recommend at this time:
- BBC Newsround BLM
- Documentary on UK historical cases
- BBC One Extra talks
- BBC presenter Clara Amfo’s anti-racism speech on Radio 1
- BBC presenter Greg James speaks about racism and what you can do
- Just Mercy trailer
- Denzel Washington’s speech
- Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss and wife Allison Holker highlight white privilege in viral TikTok video
- An interview with Jane Elliott (human rights and equality activist)
We also recommend reading/watching anything by:
- UK RAP artist, public speaker and author – Akala
- South African stand-up comedian and US talk show host – Trevor Noah