On Friday, October 25th, Triple Alumnus Dr. Charles Russo, Law School Class of 1983, and Panzer Chair at the University of Dayton School of Education, and Adjunct Professor of Law, hosted a lecture entitled: “Education as a Fundamental Human Right: Update, Reflections, and Recommendations.” Dr. Russo’s extensive resume includes author or co-author of over 250 professional and academic articles, author, co-author, or editor of 52 books, and is the primary author of the leading textbook on Education Law. In addition, Dr. Russo has made academic and professional presentations in 34 states and 26 countries and has been a visiting professor at universities all over the world, including Australia, China, South Africa and Turkey.
Dr. Russo’s discussion focused on education as a fundamental right not only in the domestic context but also in the international context. He cited pivotal Supreme Court cases such as Brown v. Board of Education and Cf. San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez. Dr. Russo provided the audience with an international history of compulsory attendance and then moved on to discuss the best interest of the child. Citing to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Principles 5 and 7 of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Dr. Russo highlighted that many cases all over the world have had to balance the role of the parent with the necessity of education to the child. In addition, he explained that while countries sign these declarations, some countries do not necessarily provide these rights to their country’s children.
Dr. Russo then made an essential point in his reflections that some believe that children are not equal to adults but they still have to be protected and provided with their educational needs. Lastly, Dr. Russo provided recommendations that we must recognize education as a fundamental human right and make sure there are laws and polices that reflect this right. This includes funding that covers not only building schools and providing the right texts for learning, but also to enhance the staffing through teacher preparation programs.
Dr. Charles Russo’s discussion was lively, eye opening and informative to the audience at the Catholic Worker Mary House in NYC.