The Gifted Child's
Bill of Rights
Each gifted child can say….
I have the right to challenge myself. I should realize that my interests and my thoughts are valid and should be pursued. If you don’t limit me, I am less likely to limit myself.
I have the right not to have other people interfere with my learning. I am not a teacher’s aide nor am I the sole source of all group projects – I should not be treated as if I was.
I have the right not to be physically or mentally abused for being gifted. If a teacher looks the other way while others taunt me or then he or she is in the wrong because there is nothing wrong with me being smart.
I have the right to be looked at as a human being. Nobody should ever assume that everything in my life is OK just because I am gifted.
I have the right to make mistakes. This right I must guard most closely against myself. Chances are pretty good I have always been my own worst critic. I must remember that I am not perfect, and that that’s OK.
I have the right to ask for help. If you cannot help me, don’t pretend. You should try to find someone who can help me. I learn quickly, but I don’t learn by osmosis. Sometimes I will need a hand and my needs are just as valid as those of every other student.
I have the right to be my age. If I am a smart 7-year-old, then I am a smart 7-year-old, not a short 30-year-old.
I have the right to an advocate. Please remember that the system is skewed against me. If you see my rights being violated, speak for me and help me speak for myself.
I have the right not to be forced into your notions of childhood. If I want to be a marine biologist when my classmate wants to be a firefighter, then so be it.
I have the right to some privacy. Not everything I do should be put on a microscope slide just because I am smart. Let me decide what to share with the world and what to keep.
Submitted by Marissa K. Lingen (“I am a freelance writer who specializes in science fiction and technical writing. I recently stopped being a nuclear physics graduate student. Last spring I won the Isaac Asimov Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction Writing.) (Copyrighted 2000)