How To Draft a Student Bill of Rights

Many high schools and colleges invite students to draft a student bill of rights. For some, this is only an exercise in writing a government document. For others, however, this student bill of rights will become an official document used throughout the year or throughout a student's academic career. The following steps will help you know how to draft a student bill of rights.

  1. Group Assignments -- Students may be placed into groups by a teacher, or if the students are drafting a student bill of rights on their own, then they may choose their own groups. In some cases, students may be placed into groups based on their genders. Dividing the groups by sexes could allow the student body as a whole to address certain gender issues, such as equality in dress codes. Although the issues brought forth by each gender group may not be suitable for the student bill of rights, it may provide insight into the differences and similarities between both male and female students.  Groups could also be comprised of like-minded individuals as well.

  2. Brainstorm -- As with any other piece of writing, a student bill of rights shouldn't be written until some intensive brainstorming has occurred. Ask each member of your group to jot down the various rights that are important to him or her. You may want to allot a particular amount of time for students to work individually on their notes before you begin comparing them.
  3. Compare -- Once each group has had time to brainstorm, you'll need to begin comparing the notes that each person has written. Assign someone to write down the compiled list of student rights for each group. You'll probably find that many of the students have written similar items. You'll only need to write each similar item one time. Keep the list as organized as possible, eliminating any student right that is unrealistic or confusing, but don't worry about placing it in any specific order just yet. You'll work on organization in your first draft.
  4. First Draft -- It is now time to organize each group's list into a first draft. You'll need to appoint someone as the official recorder. This person is responsible for writing the draft. You can also appoint other responsibilities to each group member, including some members who will be in charge of proofreading the document to look for grammar and spelling errors, and others who will be in charge of organizing the document.
  5. Use an Example -- Use the United States Bill of Rights as a guide as you create your first draft. While of course your student bill of rights may cover issues that are quite different from those addressed by the U.S. Bill of Rights, this important government document will help you understand how a bill of rights could be worded and organized.
  6. Display First Draft -- Once you've completed your first draft, appoint someone as a speaker and have this person read the rough draft to the now combined groups. It might be a good idea to post the draft student bill of rights for a couple of days, leaving space on the draft for comments and ideas which students can add if necessary.
  7. Second Draft -- Once you've allowed a few days for students to review the student bill of rights draft and add their comments, it's time to write a second draft. Your combined group can decide whether any of the comments or ideas are relevant and whether they should be added to the student bill of rights. You should then complete the rough draft, again proofreading it thoroughly.
  8. Final Document -- After you are satisfied with the rough draft, it's time to create the final document. One person should be in charge of typing the student bill of rights, although there should be at least two other people who are responsible for proofreading it before the final copy is printed and displayed. The final student bill of rights can then be presented to the student body and displayed in a prominent area.


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