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Social emotional learning should be offered to students in every school district. Through social emotional learning, the students will be able to uphold the governing principle of individual rights. This paper explores the principle of individual rights and how it relates to social emotional learning. The importance of the introduction of social emotional learning in schools is explored. Moreover, the principle of individual rights and the changes it has undergone throughout the history of the United States is discussed.
Social emotional learning enables the students to manage their feelings and be able to relate with others and form constructive relationships. The students are also able to make wise decisions and deal with challenges that they face in their day to day lives.
Through social emotional learning, students are able to acquire the skills necessary for them to function in the world successfully and be able to deal with different tasks in their lives as future citizens. Social emotional learning molds individuals’ character and enables them to be responsible. Moreover, the students become responsible citizens as they learn to be responsible for their actions, take care of their health and relate better with other citizens (Zins 12).
One of the guiding principles of the United States government is individual rights. The principle states that the citizens have rights that should be protected and not violated. The basic rights of every citizen should be protected. These rights include the right to life, the right to liberty, and the right to pursue happiness.
Through social emotional learning, the students will be able to succeed in their studies and contribute to the wellbeing of the society. They will be able to achieve their goals, have meaningful relationships with others and therefore, achieve happiness. They will be able to respect and sympathize with others and therefore not violate their rights.
They will thus be able to uphold the principle of individual rights. The introduction of social emotional learning in schools is an effort to enable the students to understand the concept of individual rights from an early age in order to espouse the principle later on as citizens.
In order to increase the social emotional learning programs available to students, the Academic, Social and Emotional Learning Act of 2011 has been introduced by Judy Biggert, Dale Kildee, and Tim Ryan. Through this Act, the teachers will be able to instill all the necessary skills in their students in order to enable them to become responsible citizens in future.
The “Founding Fathers” included the principle of individual rights in the Declaration of independence as one of the guiding principles of the United States government. Among the key Founding Fathers were George Washington, John Adams, John Jay, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison (Schwartz 68).
All the other rights rest on the rights to life, liberty, and pursuing happiness. The Founding Fathers believed that the sole purpose of the government was to protect these rights. They also believed that an individual’s life does not belong to anyone else but to him/ her alone and therefore, they should have freedom to do whatever they please (Freehling 81).
The implementation of the principle of individual rights enabled citizens to live freely without being submissive to any master. They were free to live their lives as they pleased and pursue their dreams and relate with others freely. The implementation of individual rights enabled the citizens to have access to other rights like freedom of speech and religion, among others.
The principle of individual rights has continued to be upheld through the enactment of several statutes, for instance, Section 1983 of title 42 of the United States Code (Blackmun 1). Moreover, the constitutions of the states have been revived to uphold the principle of human rights (Brennan 535).
However, what the Founding Fathers believed in has changed over time. The United States government has over the years introduced programs and laws that do not protect individual rights. The rights of citizens are being violated and therefore, the government is going against the concept of individual freedom that was introduced by the Founding Fathers.
For instance, the citizens’ right to property is violated through taxation where their money is taken and distributed to others. Moreover, re-distributing of wealth violates the rights of people who have worked hard for it since each individual has a right to what he/she has worked for. The right to the citizen’s body is violated through prohibiting the consumption of particular foods.
The government also violates the right of individuals through welfare programs since the individuals are denied the freedom of using their money as they please. The rights of businessmen to set the prices that they deem suitable for their products have been violated through the enactment of anti-trust laws.
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The right of individuals to choose how to invest in their future has also been violated through Social Security. In addition, business regulations by the government have violated the right of individuals to make their own decisions regarding their property. Therefore, the original vision of the Founding Fathers to have a nation where each citizen’s individual rights are protected has been corrupted.
Therefore, social emotional learning should be incorporated in all schools in order to enable the students to understand how to live with others and embrace the true meaning of individual rights.
The major skills that the students gain include understanding their feelings and those of others, ability to manage anger, mood and impulses, the ability to set and achieve goals, the ability to sympathize with others and the ability to manage relationships and resolve conflicts (Zins 30). With these skills, the students can in future be able to take the country back to the ideals of the Founding Fathers and change the current government programs and laws that contravene the individual rights of the citizens.
From the above discussion, it is evident that the introduction of social emotional learning in schools is a very noble idea as it prepares the students to become responsible citizens in future. The students are able to learn about the principle of individual rights. The relationship between social emotional learning and individual rights has been discussed and the changes that the principle of individual rights has undergone have been highlighted.
Over the years, there has been a deviation by the government from the original ideals of the Founding Fathers regarding individual rights. Therefore, social emotional learning should be introduced in all school districts in order to enable the students to shape the laws and programs of the United States government in future in such a way that the principle of individual rights will be upheld.
Blackmun, Harry. “Section 1983 And Federal Protection Of Individual Rights – Will The Statute Remain Alive Or Fade Away?” New York University Law Review 60.1 (1985): 1. Print.
Brennan, William. “The Bill Of Rights and the States: The Revival of State Constitutions as Guardians of Individual Rights.” New York University Law Review 61.4 (1986): 535. Print.
Freehling, William. “The Founding Fathers and slavery.” The American Historical Review 77.1 (1972): 81-93. Print.
Schwartz, Bernard. The Great Rights of Mankind: A History of the American Bill Of Rights. USA: Rowman & Littlefield, 1992. Print
Zins, Joseph. Building Academic Success On Social And Emotional Learning: What Does The Research Say? USA: Teachers College Press, 2004. Print