We live in a society where all human beings having rights which must be respected by others. This of course is not always the case however. There are differing opinions about children’s rights. Some people believe that children should have rights just like everyone else, but others believe they are still dependent on teachers and parents so should not be full right bearers. I can see why both arguments could be valid.
There have been two main theories looking at rights, which can be linked directly to children. The choice theory is self-explanatory and discusses how everyone has rights, whereas the interest theory also believes everyone has rights but there must also be an interest group there to protect wellbeing. In my opinion, children should have their rights, but at an early age be given as much support as possible. Children will be able to make choices from very early in their life, but they will have no concept of what that choice could mean for themselves and others around them. Brighthouse and McAvvoy (2010) discuss that children have the potential to improve their skills and personality in such a way that will enable them to deal with the world, physically and socially on their own in the future, without being dependent. Therefore, it is vital for the children to have teachers and parents etc guiding them. The main role for teachers regarding rights for children is to support them in order for them to be independent with their rights in the future.
I believe that teachers can express a moral view point however it has become increasingly difficult to do this. This ‘expressing a moral view point’ can be looked at in two ways. If a student makes a decision that the teacher may believe is wrong, the teacher can only express a moral view point in my opinion if there is permission to do so from family and only if they feel the decision being made could have negative consequences on the student. They should never force their viewpoint on the student. If the moral viewpoint concerns what they are teaching in class or how they are being made to teach, this is completely different. Due to teachers lack of freedom and autonomy in the classroom, they have no choice in how and what they teach due to the curriculum and Scottish education compared to other countries. This leads to a lack of motivation from teachers in Scotland.
Teachers do have the right to express a moral viewpoint in terms of children and their rights but only in a way that will not make students feel uncomfortable or that it is being forced upon them. This links back to teachers being the supportive adult for children outside of their home environment. Teachers can give their opinions on matters in children’s lives and convey their view, but at the end of the day if a student is going to engage in any sort of activity, it is irrelevant what a teacher says, as they cannot stop them from doing it.