Fript And Dorer Create New Sophomore History Elective, IHRL

Summer Crown As we transition into the new year, Latin students look forward to the many new, exciting things that 2017 holds. One of the more anticipated of those “things” is Ms. Dorer and Mr. Fript’s new class, International Human Rights Law (IHRL). By the end of the renowned Nazi Mind class, many students know more about the Nazi psychology and rise to power than they do about their own schedules. Unfortunately, one semester is not enough time for students to completely understand the connection between Nazis and human rights issues that face our world today. From English class, to Psych, to LIFE, to MUN, to even the family dinner table, the concept of human rights constantly appears in our lives. But Ms. Dorer noticed that there was no place at Latin for ideas on human rights to be formally discussed. While Ms. Dorer was proposing the idea of the International Human Rights Law class, she was also applying for a summer travel grant to visit the International Criminal Court. Her grant was accepted and gave her the opportunity to witness the trial of Bosco Ntaganda, a military leader of a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has been on trial since September 2015, accused of multiple war crimes including the use of child soldiers. The irony of Ntaganda’s case is his former membership to the Rwandan Patriotic Army, which helped end the genocide and fight for the rights of Tutsi citizens. Ms. Dorer’s experience at the International Criminal Court not only furthered her fascination with human rights, but also made the necessity for a class like IHRL extremely clear. Ntaganda’s case and its varying interpretations makes the topic of human rights such a controversy. While using child soldiers may seem like an act of evil to us, is possible that Bosco Ntaganda’s actions are completely justifiable based on his own moral compass. The military chief’s situation has taken the most acclaimed justices in the world over a year to deliberate over, so it is no easy task. However, it is important for members of our generation to explore the complexity of our inalienable rights and the international issues that surround us. Asking questions, understanding history, and having discussions is a crucial step to preventing human rights violations in the future. It is true that students who took Nazi Mind may have a head start on the “understanding history” aspect of IHRL, but having compassion for the human race is all that is needed to contribute to the class. Unsurprisingly, there is a lot to learn and read about human rights. Some students were not used to the workload Mr. Fript and Ms. Dorer hit returning students with. “From the first day of class, I knew that IHRL would have an intense curriculum,” said sophomore Morgan Kmety, who took Latin American Revolutions for her first semester history course. “Honestly, it freaked me out a bit, but from what I’ve heard, everyone is enjoying the class.” If there is one thing I have learned from this class so far, it’s the complexity and variety of views on International Human Rights Law. Not everyone shares the same fascination for, or beliefs about, any certain topic, and they’re entitled to their opinion. In fact, learning to tolerate perspectives that are contradictory to our own is the core purpose of the class and is a skill that will broaden our world beyond Latin’s classrooms.  ]]>