High school rights

Issue 

By Ryan Liddell

SYDNEY — The National Children's and Youth Law Centre has released a booklet on high school rights. The kit, Know Your Rights at School, was funded by the Law Foundation of NSW and covers students' rights in 10 different areas, including personal and bag searches, school uniforms and school disciplinary measures.

The NSW Department of Education and Training has questioned the advice given in the kit, emphasising that students must also know their responsibilities at school.

The kit questions common school policies such as the compulsory wearing of uniforms. It raises the right of students to refuse a request from a teacher to search them for "suspected" weapons or drugs.

Resistance activist Becky Fairall-Lee, who organised the recent protests against Carr's proposed truancy laws, explained, "Clearly, students being given a record of their rights at school is a step in the right direction.

"But knowing one's rights is not enough. It is the utilisation of these rights, such as that to protest and organise, that will help build a movement for justice for youth rights. Resistance is widely recognised as the defender of young people's rights, and part of the campaign against the government's oppressive attitude to students".