Thursday, February 07, 2008

For Kids

The American Library Association (ALA) has a publication called Kids, Know Your Rights. It is subtitled A Young Person’s Guide to Intellectual Freedom and it is directed at children. Although it is more relevant to the United States, there are aspects that might be helpful for classroom situations. It explains the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights for US children, as well as the role and responsibility of the library when one of their books is challenged.

Below is an excerpt:
An opinion is a belief in something. Everyone has
the right to have any opinion on any topic. Sharing
different opinions with others leads to new ideas. The
freedom to speak your opinion is protected by the
Constitution, and the freedom to learn from someone
else’s opinion is a privilege you should protect. When
you listen to others’ opinions, you may change your
mind, or you may believe in your own opinion even
more. It is impossible to know everything, and most
things we learn come from someone else. Always feel
free to speak and always be willing to listen. If you
respect and support other people’s rights to share their
ideas and beliefs, they will in turn respect and support
your rights. One of the greatest gifts we can give is to
listen and to appreciate each other’s differences.
Freedom of Speech is both a great freedom and a
great responsibility.

A list of titles for further reading is included. Both fiction and non-fiction titles for children are included.

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