Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What rights are inner city kids most concerned about?

I had an interesting opportunity to speak yesterday in a Minneapolis inner city, public school with 4th graders on Constitution Day. It was part of a program through the Minnesota Bar Association which seeks to introduce kids to the Constitution. It's a tough school. I was told around 30% of kids are homeless meaning they live in shelters or are constantly moving around from relatives to friends homes for short stays.

The kids were a delight. Full of questions and comments. The discussion focused on which rights in the Bill of Rights are most important to them. We went through freedom of religion, speech, assembly, right to bear arms, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and privacy. The two freedoms which were repeatedly at the top of the list were the right to bear arms and privacy. They wanted to be able to protect themselves from someone who might harm them. And second, they didn't want someone barging into their home. It makes sense. Kids raised in rough areas want security and safety which are essential to enjoying the other freedoms.

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