The Laymans Petition

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Has the US President's 2017 electoral success underscored the imperative for a human context beyond the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

About the Author

Born in Canada in 1959 to British parents, the author found traditional education unaccommodating to his psychological reality and subsequently dropped out of school at age sixteen. Inspired by the 1985 CBC television series “A PLANET FOR THE TAKING” with David Suzuki, the author initiated direct communications with provincial education authorities toward the development of a clearer explanation as to why he, as an ageing high school dropout, had found it necessary to reject the assumptions underpinning formal education. Although made to feel welcome in that 1990-91 overture, education authorities were unable to identify an ‘authorized process’ or ‘vehicle’ through which the former high school dropout could participate in meaningful discussion. In 1994, the author made a significant written submission to the subsequent Ontario Royal Commission on Learning, on the understanding that a central purpose of the Commission’s work was to ‘provide a forum (authorized process) for all stakeholders to participate’. When the Commission’s extensive findings were published, the only possible or remotely relevant trace of the author’s topically legitimate submission were the categorical and ambiguous words, ‘profound questions had been raised’. Realizing that his government’s commission had effectively negated, silenced and withdrawn the ‘Charter Status’ of his peer community’s ‘non-academic citizenship,’ as ‘stakeholders in the issue,’ the unschooled participant set about developing the communication skills he would need, no matter how rustic, to challenge the established mythology-of-purpose in education.