Stand Up Story: St. Ivo School updates and revamps “The Golden Rule” to focus on human rights
As part of its scheme of work on human rights, students in the year 8 (aged 12 to 13 years old) in St. Ivo School, in Cambridgeshire, the United Kingdom, were given the task to rebrand the golden rule.
The Golden Rule is the common name for the adage “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” As part of their study into religious, ethics and philosophy, the students learned about the background to the setting up of The Declaration of Human Rights and were also made aware of other human rights champions of the past such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Nelson Mandela.
This was followed up with a closer look the freedom of movement and also the right to no slavery. Students were surprised that modern day slavery takes place in a civilised society.
“We looked at articles in the media, websites such as, Stopthetraffik and the role of people in authority,” wrote teacher Keri Barkway. “Students looked at religious views about these issues too. Students are keen to question and evaluate what happens in society. 'If we should treat people the way we want to be treated - Why is the refugee crisis and modern day slavery allowed to happen?”
“Learning about human rights has made me feel sad and guilty,” said one female student. “I learned that children and teenagers could be lied to and made to work rather than receive an education. This could completely scar them for life and they do not have the freedoms that all children should be entitled to have in the modern world.'
This lead to all year 8 students in the year group to rebranding the Golden Rule so that it could still be seen as relevant in the twenty first century. Close to 300 posters were completed.
The students said they found the experience useful.
“By studying human rights, I have learnt that it is not good enough to discuss these issues,” said another student. “Everyone should at least take action to make a difference in the world.”