I have to discuss whether people should be educated for disobeying unfair laws?  How could people incorporate ideas of justice in the most practical way? (i.e. watching movies) What else? I...

I have to discuss whether people should be educated for disobeying unfair laws? 

How could people incorporate ideas of justice in the most practical way? (i.e. watching movies) What else? I need ideas on activities to promote a fight against bystanders. Social media campaign?  

Asked on by dragones

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It looks to me as if you have two questions here that are not necessarily related to one another.  Let me answer both of them, at least briefly.

Your first question appears to be asking whether our educational system should encourage kids to disobey the laws if the laws are unjust.  This is a very complex issue with a lot of possible answers.  One possible answer is that schools should not teach kids to disobey unjust laws because schools should be teaching students to respect authority.  Teaching kids to disobey unjust laws would essentially encourage them to disobey school officials, parents, police officers, and others.  A second possible answer is that schools should not teach this because parents should be the ones to decide what they want their children to learn on this topic.  The issue of whether to obey unjust laws is a moral issue.  Schools should not be in the business of teaching morality.  That should be the job of parents.  Finally, a third possible answer is that schools should teach this because opposition to unjust laws is fundamentally American.  Our country was founded by people who disobeyed laws that they thought were unjust.  Martin Luther King, Jr. is a national hero today because he disobeyed laws that he thought were unjust.  Therefore, schools should teach kids to carry on in this very American tradition.  Which of these arguments is most compelling to you?

One side note here…  If you teach people to disobey unjust laws, who gets to decide if the laws are just?  This is a major issue that you need to think about.  What if someone decides that laws banning racial segregation are unjust?  Do we want them breaking those laws?

If I understand your second question correctly, you want to know how to run a campaign to persuade people not to stand aside and watch when something bad is being done.  This would be similar, for example, to a campaign to persuade students to intervene when bullying is going on.  You appear to have two ideas:  watching movies and having a social media campaign.  Both of these make sense.  Let me suggest a couple other possibilities.

One possibility would be to have speakers address classes or assemblies.  For example, you might have a speaker come in who was harmed in some sort of an incident and wishes that someone had stepped in to help them.  Or you might have a speaker who saw something going on, did nothing, and now regrets their lack of action. 

A second possibility would be to have a contest.  You might have a contest for the best essay on this subject or the best poster.  You could try to have prizes that people would like for the winner and maybe a few of the best entries.  By doing this, you would get people to think about the issue you are trying to raise.

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