This month we are looking closely at the whole concept of human rights. The children have been learning that rights are things that every person on the planet is entitled to. The children have really enjoyed learning about what these are. We will have a Human Rights Month every year at around this time. As the children grow older, they will begin to discover that even though everybody is entitled to these rights, not everyone is lucky enough to have them. Please talk with your children about things such as needs versus wants and human rights this month to reinforce the work that is being done in class. You would be surprised at the level of understanding the children have of this concept already. Sadly, some of you may have experience of not receiving your basic rights as a human. Again, when the children get older, we will invite members of the school community in to speak about these times as it is really important the children understand that breaches of human rights is not something that happens in far away places, it can also happen right here on our doorstep.
As well as looking at human rights this month, we are looking at how in Ireland, it is built into the law that everyone is treated equally regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, membership of the travelling community, family status, civil status and disability ((Equal Status Act, 2000). As we are a Community National School, at the heart of our ethos is inclusion and the celebration of diversity. The children learn from a very young age that it is absolutely wrong to treat anyone unfairly because of any of these factors. The children are taught to see the value of diversity. Even though they have the right to a personal opinion about certain parts of another person’s identity and the freedom to express it, they are taught from Junior Infants that no matter how they feel about someone personally, everybody has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
I am sure that this month will be a very valuable one for all the children.