I’ve been reading and hearing a lot lately about the call for financial literacy classes in high school. This involves teaching the basics of budgeting, what credit cards are, etc. I think this is a great idea.
However, I also think it would be a great idea if we taught legal literacy as well. Right now, Law classes in High School are often only offered at the University level stream. This class involves general concepts of law and an introduction to criminal law. It’s meant for students who are possibly interested in a future career in law and it is great. However, not everyone is going on to a career in law.
Everyone will, however, die. This means everyone will need a Will. That should be covered in High School.
50% of marriages fail. Basic family law rights and obligations should be covered in High School.
Most students will rent an apartment or house during their lifetime. Basic residential Landlord and Tenant rights and obligations should be covered in High School.
Currently, through my work chairing the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) Halton Committee, we are able to work with Law Teachers to bring that information to the school on an ad hoc basis. This means some Halton High School students will emerge legally literate, however, many will not.
Let’s add legal literacy to the conversation about financial literacy in highschool.
Inga B. Andriessen JD