The Right to Public Assembly. We
all have the right to meet our friends and to work together in peace to
defend our rights. Nobody can make us join a group if we don't want to."
Now read the short story about this important human right.
The Right to Public Assembly
Adams is a new teacher at Williams High School. Parents do not like
Miss Adams. She is very young. She dresses, talks, and acts a lot like
the students. This makes the parents angry.
However, the students really like Miss Adams, and they learn a lot from her.
Still, the parents complain, and the high school decides not to hire Miss Adams back for a second school year.
The students are very upset. They talk about it at lunch. Susanna, a sophomore, says, "Let's have a sit-in!"
Her friend Ashley says, "What is a sit-in?"
Susanna answers, "We all gather and sit together peacefully in show of support."
Ashley asks, "What does that do?"
Susanna answers, "It leads to change, because we do not leave until someone notices!"
Ashley says, "Oh, cool! Let's do it!"
So, the students gather the next day after school in the gym and they all sit together quietly.
Sweet, one of the teachers, asks them for an explanation. Susanna
speaks for the group. "Miss Adams is a good teacher. We choose to sit
here together until she gets her job back."
Mr. Sweet laughs
quietly and walks away. Not long after, the principal walks into the
gym. "You kids get out of here this instant!"
Susanna speaks up again, "With all due respect sir, we cannot do that. We ask you to please give Miss Adams her job back."
"Absolutely not. You kids go home. You cannot just sit here. This is public property."
of the students move around nervously, but Susanna quickly answers,
"Sir, we have the right to public assembly. This is a peaceful protest."
right," Mr. Sweet interrupts. "They do have the right to gather here,
and I think I should join them." Then Mr. Sweet takes a seat and joins
The principal looks frustrated. Then another teacher walks in and sits beside Mr. Sweet. Then a third teacher does the same.
principal sighs, "Fine. You make your point. I will speak to Miss Adams
in the morning and invite her to come back next year." He turns around,
scratches his head, and walks away saying, "A peaceful public assembly
– what can you say to that?"