Homeroom/Advisory 15-Minute Discussion Activities to Get Students Thinking About Their Rights
Many schools begin the day with announcements. Ask students how they would react to school authorities announcing one of the hypothetical policies that challenge students' rights. Choose the hypothetical announcement you think would provoke a lively discussion among your students:
- Affix color-coded stickers or Post-it notes to books in the classroom or library. Announce that students may only read books with a sticker that corresponds to their particular category (girls/boys, different grade levels, taking different courses, etc.).
Announce that the school administration has decided to disband the Debate Club, the Model UN, the Current Events Club, the Gay-Straight Alliance, or any club at your school that might discuss anything considered "politically controversial."
- Inform students that, in order to discourage "distracting behavior," their cell phones will be collected at the beginning of each school day, and their text messages screened for inappropriate content.
- Reassign seating in your classroom so that boys are in the front of the room and girls are in the back. Explain that this new policy has been put in place because of research showing that paying attention in class is easier for girls than for boys.
- Announce that, due to parent complaints, any student whose electronic device holds music that adults don't like will have the device confiscated indefinitely by the school administration. Any teacher suspecting a student of possessing such music in school is permitted to review that student's playlists at any time.
- Announce that the athletic department has decided to reduce costs by eliminating all junior varsity girls' sports teams. There will still be varsity sports for girls, and both varsity and junior varsity sports for boys.
Learn more about youth rights at www.aclu-in.org/issues/equality/youth-rights.