Ethics should be required in school curriculums


When considering if ethics should be required in school curriculums, I suggest we ask ourselves the following questions: What type of future do we want for our society, and how do we actively manifest that future?

Ethics, in the simplest terms, deals with moral principles. It’s about right versus wrong and the dynamics of what benefits society as a whole. Now, I know this can be a very touchy subject, because who really gets to decide what is right and wrong? To me, we all decide.

We decide in situations like school shootings, police brutality or sexual assault. We decide when the rights and equality of other human beings are at stake.

These types of issues take root long before our adult years. We begin to form our perspectives at a young age. This is why ethics should be a required lesson in schools from grades K-12. Kids should have a safe and structured way to learn about their society and have an open space to discuss opinions and possible solutions.

Yes, teach the kids about consent, abuse of power and racial inequality. Teach the students about the immoral conduct that is far too common in our society. Allow them to share their own experiences and gain a larger world perspective. I think this will open the door into a world where people are more accepted, where people are held accountable for their actions.

I have heard countless times that ‘the children are our future,’ but what is being done to ensure that the youth are growing into the kind of people that bring about positive change? Not enough is being done. I’ve spent over twelve years of my life in the school system, and I feel that there could have been more done to help students broaden their understanding.

To do this, these topics must be handled delicately and appropriately. For older students, there is room for more honest and open conversations. There could be a class that specifically focuses on ethics and how ethical basics relate back to important historical and present issues. For the younger kids, those conversations can be extremely elementary. Topics on the importance of sharing, honesty and being kind would be more age-appropriate for the younger children.

Whatever level the students are at, the conversations should be had. If someone is going to spend so many years in the school system, at the very least, they can be armed with lessons that will benefit them and the people around them.