At our October General Membership Meeting, 17th District PTA adopted the San Mateo County Children and Youth Bill of Rights. This document, which was formally introduced on October 28th, was created by the Peninsula Partnership Leadership Council (PPLC) (which 17th District is a part of) and the San Mateo County Youth Commission, a group of youth representatives age 14-21. San Mateo is only the second county in the nation to adopt a Bill of Rights for its children and youth, following Multnomah County in Oregon (Portland area). The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors adopted this Bill of Rights on October 7 (Resolution No. 069726) and are also encouraging every city council and school board in the county to adopt it. 17th District is encouraging its units and councils to adopt this Bill of Rights as well.
The Bill of Rights, as adopted by 17th District PTA, is printed below.
San Mateo County Children and Youth Bill of Rights
WHEREAS, All children and youth have inalienable rights to live in a just, moral, and supportive society; and
WHEREAS, All children and youth have the same rights, regardless of their culture, race, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability; and
WHEREAS, All children and youth have the right to a better world than the one they inherited, which includes the protection, preservation, and resotration of the natural environment; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, That we agree to invest in all children and youth to ensure that:
- They have a healthy mind, body, and spirit that enables them to maximize their potential; and that
- They develop a healthy attachment to a parent, guardian, or caregiver and an ongoing relationship with a caring and supportive adult; and that
- Their essential needs are met — nutritious food, shelter, clothing, health care, and accessible transportation; and
- A safe and healthy environment, including homes, schools, and communities; and
- Access to a well-rounded quality education — including technology — that promotes success in life and in future careers and a love of life-long learning; and
- Training in life-skills that will prepare them to live independently, be self-sufficient, and contribute to their community; and
- Employment opportunities with protections from unfair labor practices; and
- Freedom from mistreatment, abuse, and neglect; and
- A voice in matters that affect them; and that
- They have an opportunity to play in a safe place and to explore nature; and that
- They have a sense of hope for their future.
In addition to this bill, the San Mateo County Youth Commission has drafted a series of recommendations for implementing this Bill of Rights [PDF], which you may be interested to look at.
Please let us know if your unit or council adopts this Bill of Rights so that we can credit them in the near future.