Activity 3: Class legislation (50 min)
3a Point out that rule-making affects only a few people (the students of the school, the teachers, and so on) but laws affect many more. Groups should meet again to decide if their rule is worthy of becoming a law for all schools in Australia. Discuss the implications of making laws for a nation instead of one school. These might include:
- different needs
- different student populations
- different school systems
- different climates and communities.
3b Allow time for groups to discuss their proposals before selecting one issue to be the subject of a law.
3c Form a simple class parliament in which the class members are representatives. The aim of the class parliament is to create a new law for all schools in Australia. Write the suggested proposal on the board and allow time to discuss the following points.
- What is the purpose of the law?
- Who must follow the law?
- Will the law favour some more than others? Why?
- What would happen if the law is broken?
- Who interprets the law?
- Who administers the law?
3d The class parliament splits into separate groups to discuss the issue from different perspectives.
- primary school students/secondary school students
- other members of the community.
Each group suggests changes to the proposed law that they think are appropriate.
3e Convene the full class parliament to discuss the proposed changes and decide a final version of the law.
The school principal could act as governor-general and sign the class law.
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