We all have our basic rights as human beings, but you might be surprised to learn that most of us do not know all of our general human rights. If you want to learn some basic information about human rights, then this article might help get you on the right track. There are some fundamental laws and rules in the United States that establish the rights that we have in the International Human Rights Law that everyone must follow.
Our current laws are mostly fair, except there needs to be more equal human rights concerning the LGBTQ community. Another thing that needs to be improved is that the current rights need to be enforced more. Dr. Shelly Peffer, Chair of Leadership, Law, and Public Service stated, “I think if they were actually upheld and enforced, I think the rights we have with a couple of exceptions, are fair if a little bit incomplete.”
Another thing we might do is believe that we have more rights than we actually do. An example of believing that we have more rights than we do is the belief that when you go out in public, people cannot take your picture without your permission, which is not true. When you are out in public you actually have very little privacy. Another belief that people have is that the police cannot search your bag randomly in public. If they believe that you have a weapon or an illegal substance, they can search your bag without a warrant.
Our rights are a bit different depending on if we go to a private school or a public school. The thing to remember is that a college education is a privilege, not a right. Because Blackburn is a private school, there can be more strict rules based on what we can or can’t do because it may reflect poorly on the school. What we do have is the right to appeal any unfavorable decision such as a write-up or a failing grade in a class. You may not win the appeal, but you are free to file it.
Another human right that we may not know every detail about is privacy. Everyone is entitled to some privacy and on campus, especially in the dorms, there are certain privacy rules that everyone needs to follow. In the dorms there are certain rules that concern when an RA or an RD can enter the dorm rooms or when police can be called. Because Blackburn is a private institution, the board can alter the rules and we would have to follow the rules that are provided from the school, or we could face punishment. This is a different from our basic rights to privacy because if we agree to attend school at a private institution, we are agreeing to follow their set of rules first.
One of the most well known constitutional rights is freedom of speech, but that freedom may have more restrictions than you think. Of course you are free to voice your opinions even if some people may not agree, but there are exceptions where you could be punished for not holding your tongue. The first situation is if you are advocating specific violence and inflicting injury on another person. The second situation is using foul language when it is not concerning politics, education or art. For example, if you were to yell curse words in public for no real reason, then that could get you in trouble, but if you are yelling curse words towards politics, then it is acceptable but unethical. The third situation is if you tell lies about someone and try and ruin their reputation.
These are just a few human rights that we have, but there are so many more that everyone should know about. These rights concern your everyday lives and it will be beneficial to know just a few basic rights. If you would like to learn more about your rights, I suggest reading over the subject or taking one of Dr. Peffer’s classes called constitutional law.