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MHS students and faculty talk about human rights day

By Makenzie Parker, Allison Lundin, Sara Thurgood

Coming up on Monday, January 16, 2017 is Human Rights Day. In Idaho, Human Rights Day is celebrated at the same time as Martin Luther King Jr Day. These two separate holidays were combined because they share a common purpose. Martin Luther King Jr. was known for seeking equality for all and believing in the use of peaceful demonstrations, acting with love and calm.

Although students happily get a day off of school for this holiday, for the most part it isn’t celebrated the way it was intended to be. We often take our rights for granted. We are so lucky for the human rights that we have.7

“ Human rights are the rights we are given as a human from birth, that are freely given to us,” Junior Bennett Smith said.

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Mr. Reeser’s wall showing images of important Humans Rights icons and reminders of important Humans’ Right moments

Everyone deserves a chance to become whatever they want, and thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. we can. We all have the right to equality, the right to believe in whatever we believe in, the right to own property, and so many other human rights.

“The purpose of Human Rights Day is to give everyone a fair chance at a future and to be successful,” Sophomore Chloe Miller said.

THe UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) is a document made to help determine human rights and what they are. This was drafted by a group of representatives from different cultures, jobs and backgrounds. It lays out 30 articles declaring the rights that need to be universally protected. For more information, refer to the united nations website below. (http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/ )

We are fortunate here at MHS to have the opportunity to take a Holocaust/Human Rights class, taught by Mr. Reeser. When asked what the true definition of human rights is to him, Mr Reeser referred back to the UDHR, which was mentioned previous in this article.

“Our Bill of Rights here in the United States was kind of used as a model and you see a lot of the Bill of Rights in the UDHR,” Mr. Reeser said.

Human rights has been a controversial issue that’s been going on for longer than any of us have been alive, and with recent current events in the country around us, it’s becoming more of a priority to understand what human rights really are and how we can encourage people to respect and honor the human rights of everyone.

“[You can start by] being reasonable people, with reasonable intentions and finding ourselves and reasonable situations,” Mr.Reeser said.
This next week, keep in mind what the true definition of human rights is. Whether it’s the definition by the UDHR or if it’s a definition by your own terms, think about what you believe your personal human rights are. Is it the right to be who you are, the right to feel how you want to? Or maybe, it’s simply the right to be a person.

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