By Analisa Sofia Perez and Christina Velez
During Expeditions at Summit Rainier, students are always provided a space to learn and express themselves. Through the Human Rights course, these students are given the opportunity to learn about not only the issues that affect them, but also the ones that affect our society.
When asked what the course is, Human Rights teacher Angel Barragan said, “Human Rights is basically a look into the human rights that we have and ways in which they have been violated in some way or another.” He insists that it’s a very important course and that “everyone should at some point have to go through one of these classes.”
The Human Rights course teaches students about their basic human rights and how to identify the ones being violated. They mainly focus on three topics: immigration, homelessness and police brutality.
Rainier freshman Jacqueline Martinez said that Human Rights has made her more aware of the things happening in the world. She said the course helped educate her on doing the right thing and “sticking up” for herself and others.
The Human Rights course isn’t about educating students on one subject; it’s about making them aware of issues surrounding the whole community. Mr. Barragan said, “I think it’s raising awareness … that there are issues right now that are hurting people in our communities and that we need to do something to fix that issue.”
Rainier freshman Esmeralda Heredia said that the course helped her become more mature and aware: “I definitely think it was a good course to start off the year with because it definitely introduced me to high school … it helped me mature.”
“I think everyone should be taking Human Rights in one way or another,” Mr. Barragan said. “So we can get to a point where there isn’t a single student that can walk out of our schools and say that they don’t know that there are human rights being violated in this country and that we need to do something about it.”
When asked what he wants his students to leave with after Expeditions, Mr. Barragan said, “I want students to realize that they have a voice and they have power individually to make some type of change. I know that it seems hard lately, especially with so much happening in the world, but I really want every single student to realize that even as an individual you can raise awareness.”
See below for a video about the Human Rights course: