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Two Harbors students talk human rights

Members of the Two Harbors High School Human Rights group meet Wednesday mornings in the choir room to discuss various issues. Students Mariah Amesbury, Emily Sweatt, Taylor Mindestrom, Roslyn Martineau, and Arabella Bolen. Not pictured, Roell Holman. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)

"So I was reading this article the other day ..." is how a lot of discussions in the Two Harbors High School Human Rights Club start.

The student group formed last fall after a group of students approached teachers Nancy MacGibbon and Holly Fearn hoping to form a space for students to share their human rights concerns. The group is student formed and run by students, with MacGibbon and Fearn there for guidance.

"We wanted it to be a place for people to discuss whatever they want and to see what we can improve human rights wise," said senior Roell Holman, Human Rights Club founding member. "We thought it was important, especially when we see things like people of color being shot and killed, students being killed in their classrooms and sexism so casually accepted. What can we do about it in our daily lives? What can we do in this school?"

The group meets once a week on Wednesday mornings before the school day starts. Usually, the group picks a few topics that members want to discuss. Most of the topics come from something students saw in the news or in their daily lives.

"So we talk about things and we can get riled up sometimes," junior Roslyn Martineau said. "I usually talk about things that get on my nerves, like with certain presidents of ours."

So far the group hasn't done much outside of meeting weekly for discussions. However, in January, the group spoke to the school board about Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"We felt like it deserved more respect and attention," Holman said.

Holman also talked about writing a letter to the administration about wanting to do more than moments of silence for victims of gun violence.

The group mostly consists of about seven or eight members, but Holman said she'd like to see more people join.

"All are welcome here, and we really mean that. It's not just something we say. If you have opinions that are different than the majority of us, that's OK. Please come and talk about it," Holman said. "Please be respectful of each other when you do, but do come."

Martineau reflected that the group mostly consisted of a group of friends.

"And that's good, but we could use some other perspectives in the group. How would we go about that?" she asked.

"That's a really good question," MacGibbon said. "What do you think?"

"I think we need to talk to some more people," Martineau said. "And do some more outreach."

The Human Rights Club meets Wednesday mornings in the choir room at Two Harbors High School.

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